My son Andrew died six years ago today

My son Andrew died six years ago today. He had just turned one.

He was born just as the leaves were turning. He died just as the leaves were turning.

We played a song from the musical Rent at his memorial service. It always makes us think of him. It goes, in part, like this.

525,600 minutes.
525,600 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes.
How do you measure, measure a year?

In diapers, report cards, in spoked wheels, and speeding tickets.
In contracts, dollars, in funerals and births

525,600 minutes.
525, 600 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes.
How do you measure the life of a woman or man?

How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

We miss you, Andrew. And we wonder every day
what you would be doing, what you would be like.

Andrew George Levitt, Oct. 14,1998-Oct. 23, 1999

Ben Casnocha: The Blog

On Grief

I've been thinking a lot about grief. I've never felt the deep, searing grief that is only associated with death. Why? No one super close to me has ever died. I've been to one funeral in my life. I know


Such a beautiful baby boy.

Thank you for sharing his photo.

Princess Leia

Perfect song. I like that one, too. My deepest sympathies then and now.


I am deeply sorry about Andrew's death. Reading about it in the NY Times Magazine article in 2003, and your openness in talking about him, have moved me over and over again. I admire your ability to talk about him -- it is healthy, respectful, loving and very much opposed to the way most of us think about death, particularly the death of a child. As the parent of a young child, I worry at times about sudden, unexplained illness, and wonder how I would react. It seems that the grief would be unbearable. We went through a lot to have our son, and at times told by internationally-recognized experts that our case was hopeless. Every day with him is a gift, and being a member of this web community reminds me of that. Thank you for trusting us.


Thank you for sharing Andrew with us. And for reminding me, again, why your Freakonomics site is such a wonderful place to "enter".


My prayers are with you today, Steven.

Connie Sartain

It's perfectly clear from his picture that Andrew would have been up to mischief, a quite wonderful spirit who would have loved you right back. I have no idea how anyone is supposed to understand or bear such loss, but I thank you for sharing your son and the love he inspires.


Tonight was the first time I've visited this site.

Your baby is simply adorable. He, and your family are in my prayers.

I'm not sure of your religious and/or spiritual beliefs, but I do believe that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Losing such a precious child and piece of your heart is not something I can come close to comprehending - I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that children like yours are what make Heaven...Beautiful. Thank you for sharing that picture.


A beautiful baby-- so sorry for your loss.

Can we see a picture of your other children?

Ben Golub

My deepest condolences to you and your family.


In matters like these I can only communicate in Spanish... where I am from we say "Mi gran sentido pesame".
My thoughts are with you, your family, and Andrew.


My deepest condolences to you and your family. I'm positive that if Andrew were with you today he would be convinced that you were greatest dad on earth.

I just finished reading Freakonomics, thank you for such an interesting and thought provoking book.

Ken D.

I have never seen Rent, but my 12 year old daughter is very fond of that song, and plays it often. I will not soon hear it without thinking of Andrew Levitt, and treasuring all the more the the good health and fortune of my children.


Era veramente un bellissimo bambino.


My daughter is 3. We can't have another child. Sometimes, I'm paralyzed by the idea of loosing her. I hope I would be as strong as you, but I don't know if I could be.


To paraphrase the old Irish lament:

Andrew I hardly knew ye


The song is touching. I'll have to think of it again when I remember my children.

It is so hard to have lost them.



In your post and Andrew's photo, in sadness there is beauty. As a parent I am almost unwilling to let myself imagine the depth of your loss. The impact a child can make on your world in a single year is incredible and wonderful.


Thank you for acknowledging your loss and sadness.


My condolences to and prayers for you and your family. As a result of our son's medical issues, we've spent a lot of time with families who have lost a child. Even with all that, I still can't begin to imagine how it must feels

In response to the question posed by theat song, a life is measured by the memories that stay with the people left behind. By that measure, I'm sure Andrew live a large life.