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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 5, 2021

Unlike all of my previous guests, when Miles' mom, Kate, first contacted me in January of this year, her sweet, almost 1 year old son, was still alive. They had just taken Miles home to die after learning that his cancer had spread to the point where treatment could no longer be effective. Kate and her husband were grasping at anything, trying to prepare themselves for his death, perhaps trying to limit some of the pain that they knew would be coming.

Kate knew, even then in January, that she would want to share Miles' story with others. She just didn't know when that would be and what exactly that story would be like. During those days and weeks at home, Kate and her husband, along with both sets of grandparents, sang to Miles, played with Miles and even celebrated his 1st birthday. They tried to get ready as well for the day they knew was right around the corner.

It turns out though, as much as you'd like to, you can't truly prepare for the death of your child. You can't prepare yourself for how quiet the house suddenly becomes. You can't prepare yourself for the fact that after weeks and months of your life revolving around that care of your child, it is suddenly over. There is nothing left to do, nothing left to prepare for. Life is now just the 'after' - that moment where your child, and in Kate's case, their only child, is gone.

Today, only months after Miles' death, Kate is ready to share Miles with the world, on this podcast, as well as on her blog, The wound is certainly still fresh and raw. Some days, in fact, she wonders if the whole thing was even real. Did she really even have a baby? Did that year where Miles was alive even exist? Miles was born shortly before the COVID pandemic began. His life ended before the pandemic did. It's hard to even imagine that an entire life was lived during the time the world shut down, but for Miles and his little family, that is exactly what happened.