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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.

Jan 25, 2024

As you know, I primarily speak with bereaved parents on this podcast, but occasionally, a story touches me and I feel nudged to share it with you. This is most certainly the case with today's guest, Regina. My regular listeners will also notice that this week's podcast is titled differently than others. We do not list by name the sibling that Regina lost because Regina actually lost FOUR siblings at four different times, two as infants and two as young adults. She lived the grief and watched her parents grieve four different times.

Regina had been listening to the podcast for quite some time before deciding to write. She ultimately decided to share her family's story on the podcast to honor her sweet parents as well as her sister and three brothers. Their family's grief journey started just before Regina's 6th birthday and has continued for almost 50 years. She says that the grief has shaped her family. As horrific as the grief has been, Regina also knows that they have a deeper love for each other after having lived through this pain together.

You might guess that this is a podcast episode that is filled with sadness, but that would not be the case. This is an episode filled with hope and love. It is a story of a family who faced obstacle after obstacle and kept showing resilience even as more and more spaces filled in the family cemetery plot. As Regina's mom was in the final days of her life at the age of 81 this past year, she kept folding and refolding a towel, holding it close to her face. She murmured something that Regina could not hear until she drew close. Her mom was saying, "Mommy's here" over and over again. Regina knew that in her last days, her bereaved mama was again holding her lost children. Now, she is buried with her husband and four of her twelve beloved children, and Regina is comforted with the knowledge that although her parents no longer live with her here on this earth, they are with her four siblings for eternity.

***Also, listen for the most amazing moment in the history of this podcast near the end! I promise it will bring happy tears to your eyes.