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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.

Dec 9, 2021

On the day that Marie's husband, Rob, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, Marie's young son asked her a question through his tears, "Who will take care of us now?" Marie's answer was quick and definite. "I will. I will take care of us." At the time, she did not realize just how important it was to say that sentence out loud to her boys, but it was crucial. She made a decision in that moment. It was up to her to raise their boys and to continue the happy life they had started together.

As Marie began to navigate this new world of being a 'widow', she quickly began to hate the term. She realized that society had expectations for widows, and she didn't want to fit into that mold. First of all, she did not look the part of an old, graying widow, but secondly and more importantly, she did not want to act the part, sitting around crying all day, waiting for others to help her, and never laughing or smiling again. 

Marie says, "Adversity changes you, but it does not have to define you." She wanted her two boys to have happy lives moving forward. She wanted to not only live life again; she wanted to love life again. This realization led to her writing a book, 'Loving Life After Loss.' She says that the book sort of poured out of her and was written in only 4 short weeks. Amazingly, the book quickly rose in popularity and overnight became #1 on Amazon and in the top 100 of Australia! 

It was then that she knew that she really had something that resonated with others and that she needed to keep spreading the message. Her movement, 'Loving Life After Loss' began. Those first days and weeks were a whirlwind having requests from 150 people per day to join. Now she has online groups and resources, as well as in person retreats. To find out more, visit her website at