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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 11, 2020



Burgundy bushes

Forest green pines

Pale blue spruce

white, white snow shadows bruised from winters tussles

Oak leaves, stubbornly refusing to let go;

Clinging like a shriveled cluster of dried raisins

Green, green moss on textured trees

Branches reaching up and out, each finger clearly seen


Under all of this you lie

Quiet now in true repose

I cannot bear to think of you here…gone by now, flesh to dust



So, I think of your dress

Sky blue periwinkle with a big, big swirly skirt

(I know you couldn’t ever twirl, but I love to imagine you so)

I made this dress

My fingers cut, sewed, nipped, and tucked

ironed wrinkles so they lay perfectly smooth around you

- - - - - - -

Life scampers all about, squirrels racing up trees

Fresh snow falling gently

 like fresh linen sheets


I sit in my warm car and think of you.


You were part of me, yet never part

Always your own self, on your own quest


I suppose I long to lay claim to you, take credit for your existence

Justify my need to keep part of you alive through me…

but this cannot be.

But I have memories, and momentary hiccups

where I feel your fingers touch some unseen place

 at its source


The above poem was written by today's guest, Kathleen. Although Kathleen was told her daughter, Emily, would not live past the age of two, Emily defied the odds and lived 15 wonderful years. In the years since Emily's death, Kathleen has found that writing poetry has been a way for her to work through her grief and still feel close to Emily. These beautiful poems give her a sense of peace and have helped others learn a little bit about the journey of grieving the loss of a child. 

Now, Kathleen has completed her book of poetry which she has titled, "Loving Emily' and is looking for a publisher. Hopefully, she can find one who will help get her beautiful poems to the public where they can help other grieving people in their healing as well. Today, we talk about Emily, their family's 15 year story and Kathleen's process of healing over the past several years. Throughout the episode, she recites many of her poems, poems of a mother's love and loss.