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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.

Mar 16, 2023

A Thousand Pounds. That's what today's guest, Bri, decided to name the book that she wrote 14 years after suddenly losing her 10 1/2-month-old son, Lach (available here). When Bri was thinking about what the pain of child loss felt like, she describes it as if you were suddenly asked to carry a thousand pounds with you everywhere you went. Even now, she does not think that the thousand pounds are gone or even that the load is lighter. It’s just that over time you get a lot better at carrying it.
The moment that Bri lost Lach, her life changed forever. As much as she didn’t want to be one, she was a bereaved mom and would be for the rest of her life. Shortly after Lach’s death, Bri was introduced to a mom who lost three of her eight children when they were hit by a car. She shared her story with Bri, and sat and listened as Bri told hers. She was struck by the honesty of this older, experienced bereaved mom. She did not sugar-coat anything and admitted to Bri that she would feel the pain of losing Lach forever. However, she was not a sad, broken woman. She radiated compassion and love.
Bri thought, ‘If I have to be a bereaved mom, I want to be a bereaved mom like that.' She didn’t have the choice of whether she was a bereaved mom. That had already been decided, but now Bri did get to decide what to do with that grief moving forward. She decided that out of her ashes, God could help her create something beautiful.
Over the last 14 years, Bri has done just that. In addition to her book, Bri and her family created Lach’s Legacy, an organization that works to bring ‘connection, comfort and hope to families after the unexpected loss of an infant’ for families in South Dakota. In addition, the organization raises money used for research in SIDS research. Through her own pain, Bri is helping to create a little bit of hope for those in the depths of despair.