“How are your kids doing Dr. Gold?”

There are times at work that I am asked how my kids are doing.  Not very often – but it just happened again this week.

Even though I practice in a small community not everyone knows that Nolan is gone.

I see now how much I shared of my personal life when I see families and they ask about my kids.

lisa work photo videoIf I am not at work I can share my loss. I can be a grieving mom. I can describe the  heartbreak of losing your child when he was looking so good and told you he was feeling better with his illness.

So I try to be very brief in my answer. “They are good” “They are getting older.” But sometimes the parent asks for more details…Your oldest- how is college going for him? What year is here? Is he still at Purdue? That is when I feel lost.

Do I tell them the truth?

It is these times that I wish I had the courage to say Nolan is gone. But I cannot say this without breaking down and crying. It is so difficult. I feel like I am lying when I don’t tell them.  But how can I drop a bomb like that? The parent is making pleasantries. If I could share I would. But really I need to focus on the reason for the visit and not bring up my personal life and loss.

Some day I will be able to talk about Nolan’s passing and not cry. And I hate crying out in public.  This past February I was part of a panel for a MOPS group discussing child loss. I had to practice my intro:

“Hello – My name is Dr. Lisa Gold and I have two children. One is 15 years old and one is forever 19.”

It took me a week practicing to say this without breaking down and sobbing. But I did it. I cried a bit during the discussion but less than I expected I would.



Don’t get me wrong – I want to talk about Nolan. By talking about him I keep him close to me.

I would rather talk to someone about my good memories of him. His laugh. His smile. His love of his friends. I love hearing stories and memories about him.

This is better than telling a parent at my office that my son is gone and by suicide.

That is not what I want to remember of him.

nolan blue heart





4 thoughts on ““How are your kids doing Dr. Gold?”

  1. I relate to this so much ..just this week my pt states something like How many children do I have and I state that I have all boys and they are grown. I’m not about to open myself up to the discussion of child loss at age 23 and expose those emotions. As far as that discussion goes ..it is brief. I opened up to one, who was there for a fetal demise at 32 wk and we bonded ” it was good ” but that was an exception !! Love your blog~♡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Forever 43, for me. I know I have to pick and choose when to tell people why I am a widow. He passed due to massive strokes caused by suicide attempt. So a lot of times I just go with stroke. It’s easy and gives a why without the stigma. If I’m close to you or feel comfortable with a person its suicide. There is a line drawn at work though. Not many patients or co worker know im a widow. Its not a concern, it doesn’t define me, but it has defined my personality a lot for the better.

    I love you Lisa. You are always on my mind. Muah


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