I have been on a boundaries bender for the past several years, set into motion when my mom died in 2017 from the complications of a decades-long battle with alcoholism and mental health challenges. This was a turning point in my life when I began to understand, define, and practice boundaries, which has greatly improved how I exist in the world.
In January 2021, a friend and classmate from the NYU coaching certificate program, Brooke James, invited me to chat about my experiences with this complicated loss. It occurred to me that I hadn't shared the episode publicly, other than with a few friends. Given that boundaries is a topic of interest and focus of work with some of my clients, it seems fitting to do that now.
You can find the episode on Anchor.fm and Spotify (and maybe others). I also suggest checking out Brooke's extensive catalog of interviews with people who discuss a wide range of experiences with loss.
In this episode, Amy Santee joins host Brooke L. James to talk about losing her mother to alcoholism. Amy shares what it's like to grieve a parent she did not have a strong relationship with, what it's like to watch someone you love struggle with addiction, how to set boundaries when going through a loss, and how losing a parent early brings on grief for all the things that could be. Content warnings: suicide, abuse, addiction.
About Brooke's Podcast, The Grief Coach
In 2019 at the age of 30, Brooke lost her father to cancer and immediately searched for resources that respected the gravity of emotions in her grieving process that also offered concrete support. The Grief Coach provides a leading new voice on grief covering everything from the practical to the emotional. Interviewing guests such as innovators in funeral arrangements, spiritual leaders, therapists, authors, and grievers themselves, Brooke has created a space she needed but could not find—one that respects profound loss and the practicality of needing to make decisions in heartbreak.