242 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 • 125 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.

    Episode 244: Jakey's Mom

    Episode 244: Jakey's Mom

    When today's guest, Heather, lost her precious 4-year-old son, Jake, 13 years ago, her life was turned upside-down. Jake (or Jakey as he was often called) was medically fragile and suffered from chronic seizures, as well as additional medical complications, but Heather never allowed herself to think that he would die. Heather left her job as a special ed teacher and dedicated her life to making Jake's life the best it could be. Shortly after Jake died, Heather and her family realized that not everyone had the resources and skills to help their own medically complex kids. They started a non-profit organization called Jake's Help from Heaven. The nonprofit works with families to provide items not covered by insurance that will give them opportunities to thrive. Some items are big and life-changing and others are quite small, but their goal is to come from a 'place of yes' to help every family possible.
     
    As rewarding as the organization has been, Heather found that much of her time had to be dedicated to planning fundraising events instead of spending time with the families. This made Heather begin to think about trying to do things differently. What if instead of sponsoring numerous events throughout the year, they simply asked their donors for money and used their time and energy to tell stories instead? These stories have become 'The Place of Yes' podcast. Some of these stories are about Jake and their family and others are about the families Jake's Help from Heaven had assisted. Still others are about people living in grief each day. All of these stories, however, are about people using their grief for good.
     
    When Heather thought about having to move forward after the devastating loss of Jake, she discovered this about herself. She says on her podcast, "All I can say is, you can dig deep, figure out where you are, and figure out where you want to be, and for me, I found the answer was in a place of yes." She longs to make the world a better place for chronically ill children and now for grieving families as well. Through the nonprofit, and now the podcast, I know that she will do just that.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 243: Preston's Mom

    Episode 243: Preston's Mom

    "What now?"
     
    This is the question that today's guest Bridget asked herself after she and her family made the difficult decision to remove her 28-year-old son, Preston, from life support following his car accident while on a trip to Florida. Bridget had watched her own mother live through the nightmare of child loss when Bridget's 13-year-old brother died. She had lived in a broken family and had felt a bit like a forgotten mourner. She was determined to be there for her boys in their grief in a way that her mother had been unable to do.
     
    A few months before Preston died, Bridget's dad passed away. Bridget's mom had planned for the family to take a trip into the mountains of northern Arizona to honor his life. After they lost Preston, the plan changed so that they would honor both. Before the trip could happen, however, tragedy struck again and Bridget's mother died. Bridget and her mom had gathered items to make charms for other family members who would be running in a race initially to honor their father/grandfather, but now were honoring all three. Bridget went on to make 10 of these charms that the family brought to northern Arizona. Bridget never planned to make more than these ten charms, but fate had other plans.
     
    Years after making those first charms, Bridget found herself in a deep hole. She was drinking heavily and doing everything that she vowed that she would not do after losing Preston. She made a decision to change her life and quit drinking. She thought about those 10 charms and about how therapeutic it was for her to make them. She decided to start making more, leaving them in places where others could find them and learn a little about Preston. She hoped that they could bring a little peace to others who were hurting.
     
    Now, Preston's Charms have traveled the world. She says that she has now made over 1000 charms and has been told many stories about how a charm was found by just the right person at the right time. She has even written a book about Preston's life including stories of others who have been comforted by the charms. To learn more or to order your own, visit prestonscharm.com.
     
     

    • 58 min
    Episode 242: Grandparent Grief

    Episode 242: Grandparent Grief

    When a listener suggested that we talk about grandparents and grief, I thought that it would be a good topic for one of my Livestream episodes with Gwen, but I never realized how much I would learn myself. As you all know, Andy's 20th birthday was last week so I did not prep as much as I normally do for Livestream episodes. I did not have days of questions being posted for listeners in the week ahead of the broadcast. I posted all of the questions once on Facebook and Instagram and no comments were left at all. I had one beautiful email response to the questions that I shared on social media, but besides that, I had nothing prepared. I knew that Gwen would have a lot to contribute as she always does, but I was a little worried about my lack of preparation.
     
    When sharing my struggles with my dear friend, Dana, Brogan's Mom, she said that she would see if her parents would be willing to be guests on the Livestream. They graciously accepted our invitation. I think it was meant to be that I didn't have a lot prepared because listening to Grandma Shirley and Papa Mike was just what I needed to do. Hearing them talk about their struggles as grandparents taught me so much and made me think about my own family as well. I know that Dana learned things about her parents' grief that she never knew before as well, and it helped spark further conversation long after the Livestream ended.
     
    If you normally listen to the podcast by yourself, this might be one episode that you'll want to listen to with your family. I hope that listening to Dana's family be vulnerable and open may help other families do the same. As loving families, it is natural that we want to protect each other, but sometimes that protection creates walls around us and instead of grieving together, we all grieve alone instead. I pray that this episode will help families knock down some of those walls.
     
    We are also honoring Peter and Taylor (from Episode 215: TT's Mom). Andrea honored me with the gift of memorial donations after the recent death of Peter, her amazing husband - enough for 9 months of podcast production. I am truly humbled.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode 241: Taylor's Gift Mom

    Episode 241: Taylor's Gift Mom

    Tara's teen daughter, Taylor was the kind of friend who made others feel like they were the most special person in the room. When Taylor tragically died in 2010 in a skiing accident, Tara says that the easiest decision that the family had to make was when they were asked, 'Your daughter is a beautiful candidate for organ donation; would you consider it?'
    They knew their loving, caring daughter would never hesitate to help others so they did not hesitate either. Tara wanted her daughter to be a gift to others. The family knew that by making this decision, they would be able to give total strangers the gift of time, the gift of memories, and the gift of experiences. That decision blessed five people in the coming days, and Taylor's family has had the privilege to meet 4 of the 5 recipients.
    Tara and her husband quickly started Taylor's Gift, a foundation in their home state of Texas, that focused on helping increase numbers of people volunteering to be organ donors. They asked the question, 'How do you want to outlive yourself?' People often do not want to talk to their loved ones about organ donation. They feel it is taboo to talk about death and organ donation, They do not realize that organ donation isn't about death. It is about blessing others with the gift of life.
    A second goal of the foundation is surrounding grief support. Donor families are in a very unique position. They most often lose their family member suddenly and are in extreme pain. At the same time, the families have a sense of gratefulness that they were able to help save the lives of others. These mixed emotions can be difficult to understand. Taylor's Gift offers certified one-on-one peer professional support as well as support groups with caring guides who have all suffered similar losses.
    Over the last 14 years, Taylor has not only helped the lives of those original five recipients. Taylor's Gift has blessed hundreds upon hundreds by either starting the conversation of organ donation between family members or walking beside families after they have given the gift of donation. I know these blessings will continue to build.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 240: Josh's Mom

    Episode 240: Josh's Mom

    I have a confession to make. This is a hard week for me. In three days, we will have to 'celebrate' Andy's 20th birthday. I have been thinking all week about what a 20-year-old Andy would be like. Would he have decided on a career path? Would he be dating a special girl? Would he still show some of his inner silliness? I'm sure that instead of me kissing the top of his head, he would be tall enough to kiss the top of mine. I'd like to think we would be headed out to visit him at college this weekend to make his birthday special.
    Of course, I will never know the answers to any of these questions, and I feel that deep, excruciating pain once again. I walked upstairs tonight and tried to imagine for a second that I could go back in time and live my old life with my complete family for just one night. I have cried multiple times every day this week. Very few people at work or in my social circle have any idea that I am struggling. As I facilitated my support groups this week, there were moments when I could not even speak. I had trouble driving in traffic yesterday fearing another accident. All in all, I would describe myself as being a 'hot mess'.
    This is why this week's guest, Ann, is like a breath of fresh air for me. Each week, before I release a new podcast, I listen to the episode from beginning to end. Ann was the perfect person to listen to this week. She has a caring spirit that flows out of her. She is open to talking about her struggles after losing her amazing son, Josh, but even in her struggles, she is an encouragement to me. After losing Josh, Ann turned to writing to help her in her grief. Her initial posts were written just for her, but more recently, Ann has posted her writings on her blog, annyarrowblog.wordpress.com. The more she writes, the more others reach out to tell her how much she is helping them in their grief.
    By listening to Ann tonight, she reminds me that I am loved by God and many others around me. She shows me I do not have to hide or be ashamed of my feelings. I may still be a 'hot mess', but that is OK. Even when broken, we can all offer love and support to each other.

    • 55 min
    Episode 239: Randy's Dad

    Episode 239: Randy's Dad

    What is a miracle? Many people have told today's guest, Freddie, that his son, Randy, was a living miracle. Few would have argued that point. Randy was diagnosed with cancer at 4 1/2 years of age. After conventional chemotherapy and radiation failed to treat his tumor, the family was told that Randy had 6 months to live. They turned to NIH studies, but none of those treatments ever made it out of the stage of clinical trials. His grandfather prayed over him and even instructed Freddie to rub a Bible up and down his spine. Randy was cured by these faith healings again and again. The boy who was never expected to see his 5th birthday saw his 15th and even his 25th birthday. Randy was, without a doubt, a living miracle, until one night, he wasn't.
    Randy suffered a seizure and his heart stopped. He died that night and his parents were faced with the harsh reality that Randy was no longer their living miracle. Freddie says that their faith was rocked to its core. They trusted that God would continue protecting Randy, but He didn't. It made no sense and left Freddie with a sense of anger. In fact, Freddie is the first to admit that he continues to struggle with anger at times.
    Randy's death, however, does not change the fact that Randy is still a miracle. In fact, after my conversation with Freddie today, my very definition of a miracle has changed. After our recording stopped, Freddie challenged me to think of Andy's life as a miracle as well. I had never thought of Andy as being a miracle. I had always focused on the fact that a miracle didn't happen that night when Andy died. If there had been a miracle, Andy would be alive. Freddie showed me that through this podcast, however, Andy has become just as much of a miracle as Randy is. By listening to Andy's story, people get to know him and feel hope and healing as they suffer their greatest tragedy. In some ways, there can be no bigger miracle than that. Thank you, Freddie, for showing me that even in death, our sons are still miracles, and that in sharing their stories, others can get to know our miracle sons just a little bit.

     

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
125 Ratings

125 Ratings

Lvnmybyz ,

So helpful in my worst time

My son passed 11/26/23. He was our youngest. I listen to the episodes from the beginning and they help me so much. Making me feel understood. The resources have been very helpful. Thank you so very much for having the courage and strength to do this podcast

hoops57 ,

Lost our son at 22 months

We lost our 22 month special needs child … be happy to share … it was in 1995…

Many thanks for sharing everyone’s story

Momfasting ,

Such a gift

This podcast is such an amazing blessing for bereaved parents. We lost our 16 year old son this April and wandering around in this wilderness is very isolating and confusing on top of the relentless pain. Someone shared this podcast with me a couple months into my grief, and I’ve probably listened to half the episodes already. God bless you Marcy and Gwen and all of the guests who are brave enough. I also love getting to know all of these precious kids, including Andy. I love each and every one. Thank you.

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