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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 14, 2020

Recently, I feel like my grief journey has been harder rather than easier. It is difficult to know why that is the case. Is it because it has now been almost two years since Andy died? Others have warned me of that difficult milestone. Is it due to that fact that spring has arrived with its promise of trees, flowers and new life while my heart is still feeling such sadness and death? Is it the social distancing/quarantine that has now gone on for two months keeping us all isolated in our homes? Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. It is impossible to know for certain.

Because of that, I decided that this week, I really needed to focus on hope, hope that things will get better as time goes on. This immediately led me to write Kathleen to ask her to be on the show. Kathleen lost her young daughter Anna almost 20 years ago. We have a mutual friend, and Kathleen has been closely following our story through her. She sent me a copy of her book documenting her journey with Anna several months ago. More recently, as I had blogged about the difficulties of Andy's birthday and Mother's Day, she was quick with an email offering encouragement, and ideas of how to commemorate Andy. 

Those emails always brightened my spirits just a little and I knew that I had to give her the opportunity to share her wisdom with all of my listeners and not just me. It is a blessing to hear from someone who has experienced these dark times. It is nice, too, to hear how she still remembers Anna and talks about her in everyday life. Now, though, those memories bring more smiles and laughter than tears.