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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.

Sep 17, 2020

Until June 6, 2002, Dave and Sue Brannon had a life that many would envy. They had four beautiful children, a happy marriage, and a life that felt blessed by God. Sue worked as a nurse, and Dave was a successful author of numerous books. Dave wrote in the introduction of his book, Beyond the Valley: 'We loved the stuffing out of life. Not that every day was always easy and full of smiles and laughing, but for the most part, our direction was still heading securely toward the road to blessedness. Up on the mountain. Far from the valley."

On that day in June, however, their lives fell unexpectedly into that deep, dark valley. Their precious daughter, Melissa, was killed instantly in a car accident, and everything changed. Suddenly, their blessed life did not feel so blessed. They became all too familiar with pain, grief and suffering. A day that started joyously with the last day of Melissa's junior year in high school ended in tragedy on the side of a road.

A new journey started for their family that day, a journey that instead of being on a road that was high and smooth, was on a dark curvy road with potholes along the way. Sue says that in those first days, she felt as if she could not do anything. She could not make any decisions and had to rely fully on Dave and others. As the days became months and the months became years, the two kept traveling along that path together, continuing to move forward. Faith in God and help from others helped them along the way.

On today's show, they share about their amazing daughter, Melissa, and how they keep her memory alive today 18 years later, how they still think about her and talk about her daily. They also discuss how so many people came alongside them to help and how important that was in their healing process. Lastly, they talk about keeping faith in God after living through devastating loss and finding hope for the future once again.