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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 10, 2023

Every week before I release a new podcast episode, I listen to the full episode one last time in order to get one or two take-home points that I can write about to accompany the podcast release. I know that some people will never listen to the episode and only read these paragraphs either through Facebook, Instagram, or my email list. I have been told that sometimes listening is just too painful and reading the little introduction is all that people can handle.

Today, I have a problem. I would need 30 or 40 paragraphs in order to cover the key points of this episode. Karen's insights, although she is so early in her grief after losing her daughter, Ashley to lymphoma, are simply amazing. As I listened, I kept changing my mind about what the write-up should include. Karen just kept sharing nugget after nugget of priceless wisdom.

We talked about the fact that the body is amazing at what it can endure until it suddenly can't anymore. She shared the wisdom of her rabbi who said that she could not believe in a God who would cause Ashley's death to happen, but does believe in a God who is crying with us and surrounding us with the love that we need to get through the pain of her loss. We discuss the power of words and the difference between trauma and TRAUMA. The talk about how bittersweet is a term that does not do justice to either end of the emotional spectrum. The pain of your child being missing is excruciating, not just bitter, while the event we are celebrating can be amazing and not just sweet. We discuss the fact that we will never get to the other side of the tunnel of grief while we still live. We can definitely see beauty and even some light in the tunnel, but we will never see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By now, I think you see my dilemma. There is just too much to share in a concise way. There is only one answer. This is a podcast episode that you simply must listen to from beginning to end. It actually may even be a good idea to take out a pad of paper to jot down some notes. I know you won't regret it.