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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.

May 2, 2024

When a listener suggested that we talk about grandparents and grief, I thought that it would be a good topic for one of my Livestream episodes with Gwen, but I never realized how much I would learn myself. As you all know, Andy's 20th birthday was last week so I did not prep as much as I normally do for Livestream episodes. I did not have days of questions being posted for listeners in the week ahead of the broadcast. I posted all of the questions once on Facebook and Instagram and no comments were left at all. I had one beautiful email response to the questions that I shared on social media, but besides that, I had nothing prepared. I knew that Gwen would have a lot to contribute as she always does, but I was a little worried about my lack of preparation.
When sharing my struggles with my dear friend, Dana, Brogan's Mom, she said that she would see if her parents would be willing to be guests on the Livestream. They graciously accepted our invitation. I think it was meant to be that I didn't have a lot prepared because listening to Grandma Shirley and Papa Mike was just what I needed to do. Hearing them talk about their struggles as grandparents taught me so much and made me think about my own family as well. I know that Dana learned things about her parents' grief that she never knew before as well, and it helped spark further conversation long after the Livestream ended.
If you normally listen to the podcast by yourself, this might be one episode that you'll want to listen to with your family. I hope that listening to Dana's family be vulnerable and open may help other families do the same. As loving families, it is natural that we want to protect each other, but sometimes that protection creates walls around us and instead of grieving together, we all grieve alone instead. I pray that this episode will help families knock down some of those walls.
We are also honoring Peter and Taylor (from Episode 215: TT's Mom). Andrea honored me with the gift of memorial donations after the recent death of Peter, her amazing husband - enough for 9 months of podcast production. I am truly humbled.