GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A grieving Grand Rapids mother couldn’t find a podcast focused on losing a child, so she started her own.
Dr. Marcy Larson’s 14-year-old son, Andy, died in a car crash on Aug. 15, 2018. The family was on US-131 near the West River Drive exit when their van was rear-ended.
As she wrote on her website titled Always Andy’s Mom, Larson found it nearly impossible to get through a book about grief.
Larson is a pediatrician and her husband is an anesthesiologist. He has a podcast focused on health care, so Larson hoped there would be one that could help her grapple with the debilitating grief.
“Because I really couldn’t find one, I just decided it’s up to me to start one. And I don’t know why I felt that way, but I really had that feeling come over me,” she told News 8. “The trigger that really sent me over the edge was just talking to friends of mine who sort of assumed, a little bit, that they knew what I was going through and what I would and wouldn’t be able to handle and they really just don’t.”
Larson’s podcast, called “Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom”, launched Monday. It features conversations between Larson and others who’ve also lost a child or professionals with insight on grieving a premature death.
“In general, people just don’t like to talk about grief,” Larson explained. “It makes them uncomfortable. But I think the idea of losing a child makes people even more uncomfortable because it’s most people’s nightmare… I want to help people and I want to normalize those feelings so we do talk about a lot of things, hard things, and open ourselves up, but I think people need to know that that’s OK, that you need to do that.”
In addition to using the podcast for comfort, Larson hopes it can ease the sometimes-intimidating step of joining a support group. She currently attends and recommends StarLight Ministries.
Other support groups offered in West Michigan include Ele’s Place and Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, which is currently offering weekly workshops for grieving parents.