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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.

May 30, 2024

When I am suddenly stuck in traffic on a busy freeway, feelings of panic quickly build inside me. My heart starts beating faster. My hands begin to feel sweaty. It can feel difficult to breathe. As I tightly grip the steering wheel, visions of another car accident come into my mind. I say to myself over and over, 'I can't do this. I can't do this.'
Today's guest, Jamie, may have a solution to the struggles I and many other traumatized people have. The beautiful thing is that it is something that you can learn to do to help yourself. Jamie first learned about EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) tapping when her college-aged son, Ben, was struggling with anxiety and schizophrenia. She was tapping on parts of her body and saying the following phrase - I love and accept myself just as I am. She soon found herself weeping. Jamie realized that as much as she thought it was a good idea to love and accept herself, she did not actually truly feel that way at her core.
After Ben died by suicide, Jamie was understandably crushed. She said her mind was filled with 'what if's' and 'I wish I had's.' (What if we had gone to another doctor? I should have done more to help.) Jamie soon realized she needed to let go of those thoughts. The solution came through EFT tapping. As she was tapping, she would say positive statements to herself. I am OK. I love and accept myself just as I am. This time, however, she believed it. She could love and accept herself and let go of the negative thoughts.
Instead of having the devastation of Ben's death consume her, Jamie decided that Ben's death would be fuel for her to move forward. Despite Ben's death, she was determined to bring just a little bit of beauty into the world. In her mind, the best way she could do this was to become an EFT tapping practitioner. Through her website,, she helps teach people to use tapping in their own trauma and grief.
As for me, I hope that someday soon, when driving in traffic, I will be able to replace my words of 'I can't do this' with 'I am OK.' Hopefully, I will even believe the words when I say them.