Welcome to LEAP where we sit down with people from all over the world to hear their transformational stories and perspectives on their grief and loss journeys.
In this episode, we dive into a deeply personal and poignant story of coping with loss and addiction. Our guest, Randi-Lee Bowslaugh, shares her journey of growing up with her brother Brandon and the challenges they faced together. At the tender age of 14, Randi-Lee turned to writing as a way to deal with her depression, and she takes us on a reflective journey of their childhood, shedding light on why her brother was in and out of jail.
As we explore the complexities of addiction and overdose, Randi-Lee opens up about her brother’s periods of sobriety and the complicated dynamics of their relationship at the time of his death. She bravely shares the guilt associated with his passing and how family members enabled him and his addiction, shedding light on the harsh realities faced by loved ones in such situations.
Randi-Lee recounts the heart-wrenching moment she found out about her brother’s overdose and how she has been processing the grief and guilt associated with his death. She also discusses how writing her book has been a form of catharsis, allowing her to share her brother’s story and process her own emotions.
Randi is a mental health advocate, author, and YouTuber. She started writing at 14 years old as a coping strategy for her depression. Twenty years later she is now a mom, grandma, and thriving creative individual.
Join us for this emotional and powerful episode as Randi-Lee Bowslaugh shares her personal journey of grief, healing, and self-discovery in coping with loss and addiction.
**TRIGGER WARNING** This episode covers sensitive subject matter and is not suitable for all listeners. If this topic could be a trigger for you, listen to this episode with a friend, a sibling, a loved one or a parent so you can talk about any emotions that come up for you. The contents of this episode are not intended to replace therapy and should not be taken as such. If you need immediate help, please call the crisis hotline listed below in our resources.
Listen in as we talk about:
- [1:30] Writing at the age of 14 to deal with her depression
- [2:20] Growing up with her brother Brandon and what their childhood was like
- [3:35] Why her brother was in and out of jail
- [5:10] Did he have periods of sobriety?
- [8:20] Why addiction and overdose is so complex
- [9:30] What their relationship was like at the time of his death
- [11:30] The guilt associated with his death
- [13:40] How family members enabled him and his addiction
- [14:40] How she found out about her brother’s overdose
- [20:55] How she has processed the grief and guilt associated with her brother’s death
- [25:05] Writing her book to process her grief and share her brother’s story
- [27:10] What happened to her family as a result of the death
- [29:50] Were there any surprises found after his death?
- [34:30] The impact of loss on the entire family
- [36:20] What self love means for Randi-Lee
- [36:45] Hope is…
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief by Susan E. Casey
- Books: https://www.rbwriting.ca/
Connect with Randi-Lee here:
Connect with Susan