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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.

Aug 3, 2023

"I'm gonna leave." This is such an innocent phrase. It is something that Chester's son, Corban, likely said to his parents hundreds of times over his 21 years of life. It meant that he was going somewhere - to school, to the movies, maybe just out with friends. He was going somewhere specific.

That is why it was so healing for Chester when he learned that these were the last words that Corban said to the first responders seconds before he died. Corban had been in a car accident and had been speaking with the ambulance team as they were waiting for help to get him out of the car. He calmly said, "I'm gonna leave," and then he quietly took his last breath and died. Although the ambulance workers tried to save him and get him back, he was already gone.

That phrase is what gave Chester and his wife a little bit of peace in the most horrible time of their lives. If Corban said he was 'gonna leave,' it meant that he was going somewhere. His life wasn't just over; it was just continuing somewhere else. He wasn't on earth anymore, but he seemed to know at that moment that he was going on to heaven.

Only three weeks later, Chester started scribbling words down on a napkin based on these final words. These words became lyrics and a tune started forming in Chester's head. The first lines of the chorus are as follows:

      If you say you're gonna leave, you're goin' somewhere

      But the place we wanna be is where you are

After help from musicians and eventually a producer in Nashville, the final, beautiful song was completed - a song celebrating Corban's life and remembering that someday we will all be reunited 'somewhere' together. It was released as 'Gonna Leave' by CorbansDad just in time for Father's Day this year. What a wonderful tribute from a father to his amazing son. I guarantee listening will touch your heart. To learn more, visit www.corbansdad.com. To watch the YouTube video and hear 'Gonna Leave', click here.