Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Nov 25, 2020

Do people get little signs from God or from loved ones after they die? There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue. Many people tell you that this is impossible, and those people use very different points to defend this view. An atheist would tell you that this is impossible because there is no afterlife at all. You live, you die and that is it. A fundamentalist Christian may also tell you that this is completely impossible because there is no mention of this specifically in the Bible, and saying such a thing would be blasphemous. 

I certainly am not going to be able to solve this heavily debated issue here, but I absolutely can say that not everything that I or other bereaved people experience can be explained 100% by either science or the Bible. Andy telling me at the age of 7 that he was going to go to heaven and leave our family before he grew up all of the way is not explainable. Me knowing in that instant that what he said was true is also not explainable. 

Having a ball stuck up on a high tree branch in our backyard for three years suddenly fall down on the day of Andy's funeral is not explainable. Having our pastor's son announce to his mother that a boy that he did not know was 'in heaven with his friends' thirty minutes after Andy died is not explainable. Actually, I don't even want those things to be explainable. I want to just rely on my faith to know that God is sending me a little message that Andy is OK and with him in heaven.

Today's guest, Tom, started having those unexplainable things happen to him days after his son passed away as well. Now, his interpretation of these events is a little different that mine. He is not from a Christian background. In fact, he has never believed in a formal religion at all. He said that in an abstract sense he felt that there was a higher power and an afterlife, but that he did not really have proof of anything specific.  

The death of Kevin changed everything for Tom. His view of death changed, and it actually made his view of life change as well. He feels his son's presence with him all of the time. Tom sees things in nature that he can't explain and feels that his son is orchestrating them. He says that if this had happened two or three times, he might think it was coincidence, but when it happens fifteen and twenty times, he just can't explain it away.

When Tom shares these stories with others, he gets many reactions, some positive and others negative. Some feel that he has been blessed to see these things. Others feel uncomfortable, and still others likely feel that he is crazy. Honestly, however, it really doesn't matter what others think. What matters is what he knows, what he feels, and how healing has come from it. 

Recently, Tom has even written a book about his son, Kevin's life, illness and death, and about Tom's own journey and experiences after Kevin's death. The book is called, 'Relentless: From Both Sides of the Veil.' It can be purchased here through Amazon. Also, to learn more about Tom and his story, visit his webpage. He and his wife have also started a local chapter of Helping Parents Heal, an international organization for bereaved parents.