114 episodes

When pediatrician mom of three, Marcy Larson's 14 yo son, Andy, was killed in a car accident in 2018, she felt like her life was over. In many ways, that life was over, and a new one forced to begin in its place. Come alongside her as she works through this journey of healing. She discusses grief and child loss with other grieving parents and those who work to help them in their grief. This podcast is for grieving parents and well as those who support them.

Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom Marcy Larson, MD

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 74 Ratings

When pediatrician mom of three, Marcy Larson's 14 yo son, Andy, was killed in a car accident in 2018, she felt like her life was over. In many ways, that life was over, and a new one forced to begin in its place. Come alongside her as she works through this journey of healing. She discusses grief and child loss with other grieving parents and those who work to help them in their grief. This podcast is for grieving parents and well as those who support them.

    Jacob's Sister

    Jacob's Sister

    "Grief is not an emotion; it is an experience." These are wise words from today's guest, words that I want to spread far and wide to anyone who will listen. Grief is not a feeling like happiness, sadness, anger or worry. I don't say to someone, 'I am feeling grief today.' I feel grief every day. It just looks different depending on which of the countless number of grief emotions that I might be feeling at that moment.
    When Sara's brother, Jacob, died unexpectedly in college from a heart attack, she was in the middle of her training to become a social worker. Prior to Jacob's death, Sara thought that she wanted to spend her career working within the prison system. All of that changed in a moment when he died. The grief that she felt was overwhelming to her. It impacted every part of her life. She felt isolated and alone, even when surrounded by others. The little brother that she thought would be there with her forever was suddenly gone. 
    She sought counseling for her own grief and realized just how little she was taught on the subject even in her own training to be a therapist. She learned that even the goal of grief therapy is different than the goals for other types of therapy. The typical end goal of counseling is to get rid of the problem - the anxiety, the depression, the eating disorder, etc. The goal for grief therapy, however, is not to get rid of the grief. It is to walk with the person through the grief, to help them survive the grief and even to grow in their grief.
    Today, Sara and I talk about individual grief therapy versus group therapy or support groups and what each of them have to offer. We talk about what to look for in a grief therapist (and about the fact that not all therapists at good at doing grief work!). We discuss the blessings that can come from the peer support when in a group with other grieving people. If you are thinking about starting therapy or attending a support group for your grief and don't know what to expect or how to start, this is the episode for you.

    • 57 min
    Grieving Through the Holidays

    Grieving Through the Holidays

    It is heard both in song and in general conversation that this is 'the most wonderful time of the year.' For those of us who are grieving, however, nothing can be further from the truth. We often approach this holiday season with feelings of dread, rather than excitement. We fear that our loved ones will not understand the pain that the holiday season brings. We feel pressure to do more than we are ready to do.
    In today's episode, Gwen and I delve into how grieving people can approach and try to prepare for holiday events and all of the emotions that come with the holiday season. This was Facebook and YouTube Livestream so was answer questions directly from listeners as well. Overall, I feel like there was so much good information shared from Gwen as well as ideas from listeners. The bottom line is, as difficult as the idea of grieving through holidays is, by preparing ahead of time, we can give ourselves at least a few 'wonderful' moments during an otherwise difficult time.
    ** If you want to participate in our next Livestream event, Gwen and I will again be talking on Tuesday, December 21st at 8pm Eastern Time. At that time, we will be answering any last minute pre-Christmas questions. We will also be sharing some sweet stories as now has been a Christmas tradition for the podcast (Episode 17: Messages of Hope and Episode 67: Messages from Heaven). If you are interested in contributing stories to these podcasts, you can email me at marcy@andysmom.com. You can either email the story directly for us to read or I can email a link to the livestream so you can share it yourself on the broadcast. We hope to have many stories to share just as we have in past years!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Stevie's Mom

    Stevie's Mom

    Eight months ago, today's guest, Erin, got an unthinkable call while she and her husband had gone away for a weekend getaway - their previously healthy 14 month old daughter hadn't woken up that morning. She remembers the day vividly, the thoughts, the feelings. 'I remember being in such disbelief. What happened? She's healthy. She's never been sick.' Erin was right. Stevie was completely healthy. Her autopsy results showed nothing. Her cause of death was officially termed, 'unexplained,' a condition also known as Sudden Unexplained Death of Childhood.
    Erin's life is now divided into the before and the after, before Stevie died and after Stevie died. Her mind is at war with itself, alternating between thinking that this cannot possibly be real and knowing that somehow, this actually is her life now. She now has one living child, not two. As the shock starts to wear off, there are times when the pain actually seems more acute instead of less. Erin says there are days when it feels like her very soul is on fire.
    The biggest source of comfort for this little family during all of this pain has been through Charlie, their 4 year old daughter. Erin has been simply blown away by her innocent heart and caring empathy. Charlie talks about her baby sister and will even carry her picture outside with her to play. She will blow kisses up to heaven. A few months ago, Erin and husband were crying together having a particularly difficult day. Charlie went to the kitchen, filled up bags of ice and handed it to them, saying, 'Here. This is for your heart. It is hurting.'
    What a lesson Charlie shows to all of us with her caring spirit. Unfortunately, our hurting hearts can't be made better by bags of ice, but little gestures do matter. Kind words matter. Helping each other one day at a time promotes gradual, but steady healing.

    • 56 min
    Alexis's Mom

    Alexis's Mom

    I can honestly say that I enjoy talking to every single guest I have on the podcast. Every story is unique and special, and I always learn something, whether big or small. Many of my guests are inspiring and make me feel just a little bit better about this world. A few guests though, are inspirational to the point that meeting them and talking to them for just an hour changes me and my entire life going forward.
    Today's guest, Melissa, falls into that final category. I honestly feel like talking to her has motivated me to work on helping myself and my faith in new ways. Melissa's 22 year old daughter, Alexis, died only 6 months ago unexpectedly in her sleep. For me, 6 months was my absolute low point; the shock had worn off by then and I was just left with the pain. I often felt alone and misunderstood.
    I know that Melissa would be the first to tell you that she does have her dark, sad days, but she also has a light that seems to surround her. While many of us struggle with our faith after the deaths of our children, Melissa has not. She turned to her faith in a new way unlike what she had in the past. She felt herself clinging to God and to her faith in general. She talked to God, listened to God in her heart and has found a peace that she never would have dreamt possible.
    The inspirational story of Melissa and Alexis didn't just start six months ago, however. It started 22 years prior to that when Melissa found herself pregnant at the age of 14. Melissa says that she and Alexis 'grew up together' and that without Alexis she would not be the woman that she is today. If you want to learn even more about Melissa, Alexis and their story, I would invite you to visit her blog at alexismom.com. 
    One of my favorite 'letters' that Melissa wrote to Alexis in the blog reads as below:
    To My Dearest Alexis, Words cannot and will never express how much I love and miss you. Until my last breath, I will share with the world how much you meant to all of us. You were God sent and hand delivered back to him. Watch over us all the days of our lives, our little angel. Love Mom.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Davids's Mom

    Davids's Mom

    When Liene's only child, Davids was killed at the age of 7, she didn't know how she and her husband would survive. Davids was their only child - their joy, full of life and energy. Suddenly, while riding his bike at the park, that life came to an end. When looking back at that time in her life now seven years ago, she credits getting through it by making one little decision at a time.
    The first decision that she made was that she would not drink one drop of alcohol. She feared if she started, she might not stop. She then decided that she would start to run, but she had so little energy that could only manage to walk at first. She started seeing a therapist to help with her own mental health. Little decisions were made every day to try to move forward.
    Little decisions were followed by big decisions. Liene was a lawyer by training and has worked as a lawyer in many parts of the world, but after Davids's death, life looked different. Priorities changed. Suddenly, Liene found herself caring so much for the emotional well-being of others. In her own grief journey, she had found a life coach that really helped in her healing journey. With the encouragement of her husband, she got training to be a life coach herself with the goal of helping other bereaved moms.
    After that training was complete, however, Liene says that she 'chickened out.' She felt nervous that she could not really help grieving parents so those first two years, she went back to what she thought she knew best. She became a life coach for other lawyers. Despite the fact that her practice was going well, Liene knew in her heart this is not what she was meant to do. She was meant to support grieving mothers. 
    Now, she has taken the plunge and it has been truly amazing. Liene exclusively does coaching for grieving moms all over the world (coachliene.com). She helps them look to the future, and helps them make those little daily decisions that eventually become big ones. She helps them have hope again, dream again, and most importantly shows them how to have love and compassion for themselves during the worst days of their lives.

    • 56 min
    Lucs' Mom

    Lucs' Mom

    Like many young boys, Luc loved sports. He loved playing soccer and baseball and like every good Canadian boy, Luc loved hockey. His mom, Lianne, says that she thinks what he really loved was being part of a team. He didn't enjoy having the spotlight himself, but he loved being a part of a team in which everyone had fun and shared the spotlight. 
    When Luc was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 7, he really took it all in stride. He was always very upbeat and positive, just accepting that if he did what the doctors told him, he would be fine. Other kids at school called Luc a 'hero' after his diagnosis, but Luc never wanted to be a hero. He just wanted to be a regular kid, a quiet part of the team.
    Unfortunately, that isn't what happened. Luc was special, but not in the way he would want to be. Luc was one of a few kids to get leukemia in Manitoba that year, then one of the few children to get a more aggressive type of cancer requiring additional treatment. He eventually became one of the few to have a recurrence and then, finally one of the far fewer children who die of cancer each year. It was like he kept winning the lottery no one would ever want to win. 
    Luc's mother, Lianne, is only 8 short months into her grief journey so it is so fresh and raw, but she still amazingly finds bits of gratitude in her life. She wants to continue to honor Luc by remembering his fun-loving, team oriented perspective. She recently participated in a fundraiser and was able to raise $20,000 for Cancer Care Manitoba. She called her little team 'Living for Luc,' and they had a great time having fun, playing different sports, laughing and truly experiencing life.
    Lianne said to me, "There is life after loss and it is different and it is hard, and it is not always trampolines and laughing, but sometimes it can be, and that's OK." This may be one of the wisest statements about child loss I have ever heard. Such a powerful statement and so true - something we should all remember. Even in grief, we still live and we still need to do crazy, fun things like jump on a trampoline every once in a while.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
74 Ratings

74 Ratings

Momtojake ,

Thank You Marcy

My husband and I began listening to Marcy’s podcast within the first week of losing our son to cancer. Her voice has become a comfort to us. The pace and format of the interviews are perfect and we especially appreciate her episodes with Gwen. Marcy has taken her own grief and used it to help so many others and we are eternally grateful for this amazing gift. Thank you Marcy for this excellent podcast.

vinron475 ,

Exactly what I needed

I found this podcast as our family approaches the one year anniversary of the loss of our son Aaron from a car accident on the first day of his junior year of high school. There are many helpful podcasts about grief, but this is the first one I have found that touches on all of the things that a family goes through after such a profound and out of order loss. Thank you

Shawn4ever98 ,

Thank you so much for doing this podcast!!!!!

I am so grateful for this podcast. Thank you so much for sharing your story and providing this platform for others. I lost my son, Shawn, a year and a half ago, today. I just started to come out of the fog of pain and trauma since his death. Listening to your podcast has really helped me find anything resembling hope since the moment he was gone. I cannot thank you enough for making me realize that I am not going crazy and I am not alone in this reality that I can’t fully accept.

Thank You to you and every mom that has shared your stories and beautiful children. 💜

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