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Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom

As a pediatrician, married mom of three biological children and one foster son, my life was busy, rushing off to my office four days a week, seeing patients for three and working as a medical director of a local physician organization for one. I balanced this with rushing off to shuttle my kids to after sports and other after school activities. All of this changed one day in August of 2018 when my 14 year old son, Andy, was killed in a car accident. I felt like my life was over, and in some ways it was over, and a new life was forced to begin in its place. 

Grief is seldom discussed openly in our culture, and the death of a child makes people feel even more uncomfortable. On this blog and podcast, ‘Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’, the topic is approached openly and honestly, speaking to people who have lost loved ones and experts who help care for them. Whether you are a parent experiencing loss or someone who wants to support another going through this tragedy, this blog and podcast strives to offer hope and help.

Jun 15, 2023

This week's episode was an emotional one for me as will be quite obvious to anyone listening. As I was listening one last time before releasing it, I think I realized why this week's guest impacted me so intensely. I felt like I was talking to myself 20 years from now. There were so many similarities between our boys and our lives, but Linda is almost 26 years into her grief journey while I am just about to hit the 5-year mark.

The first similarity that I noticed was that Linda's son, Adam, was a pilot and my Andy dreamed of becoming one. Both of our sons were killed in tragic accidents in the month of August, Adam in a plane crash and Andy in a car accident, Even the town where Adam crashed his plane was significant. Adam's plane went down on a street in New Richmond, Wisconsin, the town where I lived and went to school from 2nd to 6th grade. We even both set up scholarships in our boys' names after their deaths. Every part of Linda's story seemed to speak to me directly.

What seemed to hit me more than anything though was when Linda talked about living 26 years without Adam. She said that at the time of Adam's death, she couldn't imagine living 26 years without Adam. Honestly, I have a hard time believing I have almost gone 5 years now. I still can't wrap my head around 26 years. How will I be then? What will I be doing? How will the grief feel then? Will it be less intense? Is it OK if it is less intense? Will I feel more joy than I do now? Is it OK to feel more joy?

As all of these questions ran through my head, it seems that Linda had many of the answers. Some time back, her husband sent Linda's journal to a professional writer along with some of his own writings to get some advice. Her journal was almost added as an afterthought, but as soon as she read it, this author knew that Linda had a story that needed to be told. She had so much to share with grieving parents, so many answers to questions. Now, Linda's amazing book, Healing Reflections for a Grieving Mom's Heart, is available on Amazon. This book will help so many grieving hearts - mine included.