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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.

Jul 8, 2021

Grief Dreams. What are they? What do they mean? Is it normal to have a grief dream? Is it normal not to dream of the deceased? These are questions that Dr. Joshua Black has been studying for  years now. Ever since he had a dream about his father several months after he had suddenly died, Joshua was curious about how these dreams affect people. 

For Joshua, that dream brought him a sense of peace. He had never had a chance to say goodbye to his father or tell him that he loved him. In the dream though, Joshua did just that. He said when he woke up the next morning, he felt that a little bit of color had returned to the world. He had a sense of peace and felt just a little bit better.

As Joshua got further into his psychology training, he began to wonder if others had similar experiences with grief dreams. He decided to look into the research and found that very little existed. He dug in and started doing research himself. He found that although overall, 80% of dreams are negative, when looking at grief dreams, the overwhelming majority of these dreams are positive. They offer comfort to us, giving just a few more precious minutes with our loved ones.

What about those of us who don't have grief dreams? Dr. Black says that most likely everyone does dream of their deceased loved ones. What happens though, is that many times, we don't remember those dreams. Approximately 10% of people never remember their dreams, and for those people, it will not really be possible to remember a grief dream either. For those of us who do at least occasionally remember dreams, however, we can do things to help ourselves have more dreams and have those dreams be positive.

On his website,, we can download our own Dream Builder Worksheets to help us think about dreams we'd like to have about our loved ones. Dr. Black also has a podcast fittingly called, Grief Dreams Podcast where guests talk about their own grief dreams. Overall, these dreams can be a wonderful healing part of our own grief journeys.