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The Grief Coach

The Grief Coach

By Brooke James
Most people don't learn about death until they have to. Brooke's father was diagnosed with cancer and was in hospice six months later. Through this podcast Brooke is building the resource she couldn't find when she was looking for comfort. The goal of this podcast is to better equip us to talk about grief, death, and loss by exposing people to different stories about loss and providing practical advice that relates to end-of-life.

Note that you don't need to listen to the episodes in order. Start with whatever seems most meaningful to you wherever you are.
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Currently playing episode

40. How Loss Prepared us for dealing with a Pandemic with Noah James, Co-founder of The Covid Grief Network

The Grief Coach

40. How Loss Prepared us for dealing with a Pandemic with Noah James, Co-founder of The Covid Grief Network

The Grief Coach

43. How Loss Affects Marriage with The Dineens
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames is joined by Shawn and Renee Dineen to talk about how the loss of Shawn's father showed up in their marriage. Thank you to Shawn and Renee for this honest conversation that covers how grief affects the nuclear family, how to model grief for children, and how to shepherd the family towards a new normal after a loss.
January 14, 2021
42. The Beauty of What Remains with Author and Rabbi Steve Leder
In this episode host @brookeljames speaks with @steve_leder on life, love and loss. Steve's fourth book is out from Avery Books today, January 5th. Steve speaks about what being a rabbi taught him about loss, how the loss of his father informed his work as a rabbi, the concept of an ethical will, how we write our own eulogies, and more. The Beauty of What Remains is available from Bookshop and wherever else you get your books.
January 6, 2021
41. Healing a Relationship After a Diagnosis with Jenn Welch, Comedian and Host of the LadyHD Podcast, Founder of Dead Dad Tinder
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames is joined by @JennWelchNow host of the @LadyHDPod and Founder of @DeadDadTinder where they talk about similarities between grief and ADHD, how to understand feelings of wanting to date after a loss, and how Jenn's time with her father after his cancer diagnosis healed their relationship.
December 30, 2020
40. How Loss Prepared us for dealing with a Pandemic with Noah James, Co-founder of The Covid Grief Network
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames speaks with Noah James (no relation) co-founder of The Covid Grief Network @covidgrief on how losing a parent prepared them for the discomfort in dealing with a pandemic. They discuss what motivated Noah to start the Covid Grief Network, how to take care of yourself leading up to the holidays, the notion of a grief expert, and the relief in finding a community who has experienced loss.
December 16, 2020
39. Lessons from cycling with Author of Cycle of Lives, David Richman
Author David Richman joins host @BrookeLJames to share his experience in losing his sister and how it motivated him to explore how trauma impacts cancer journeys. In addition to his work as an author and interviewer, David fundraiser for various cancer charities through athletcism. He ran for 24 hours straight to honor his sister and after conducting hundreds of hours of interviewers with cancer patients, he cycled across the country to meet them all in person. David and host Brooke share that action and movement help them both process -- but David has a bit more endurance than our host. Tune in to hear his perspective on loss as well as his writing journey.
November 17, 2020
38. How First-hand Grief Experience collides with Clinical Training with Behavioral Health Therapist and Licensed Social Worker Colleen Culley
Tw: suicide. In this episode, host @BrookeLJames is joined by Licensed Social Worker and Behavioral Health Therapist Colleen Culley. Colleen's brother died by suicide last year and she shares her story of how her training with mental health impacted her real-life grief experience.
October 27, 2020
37. Making Space to Talk About Grief with Lennon Flowers, Co-Founder of The Dinner Party
In this episode, host @brookeljames is joined by @lennonflowers who shares how her grief experience led her to seek out community and founded @thedinnerparty
October 15, 2020
36. Learning From a Long History of Maternal Death with Coniah Adebayo, Brand Strategist and Founder of The Helpful Habit
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames speaks with Coniah Adebayo, founder of @thehelpfulhabit on what it's like to grow up in a family struck by breast cancer. Coniah shares how losing her mom at age 13 shaped her views on life, what it's like to deal with grief comparison, how premature death in the Black community affects families, and the importance of paperwork.
September 29, 2020
35. Experiencing Loss Abroad with Diplomat, Attorney, Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, and Writer Jennifer Klarman Santiago
In this episode host @BrookeLJames is joined by diplomat, attorney, Emmy award-winning journalist, and writer Jennifer Klarman Santiago (@pawsandprose). Jen lost her fiance while serving in the foreign service in Belize, she shares her story of experiencing loss in a place you don't have strong community ties, repatriating a body and planning a funeral without a strong grasp on the language, and how running and writing helped her process her grief.
September 16, 2020
34. How Losing Her Father Turned Her Into A Workplace Safety Advocate with Ashling Boyd, founder of CB Safety
In this episode, host @brookeljames speaks with Ashling Boyd, founder of on how losing her father to a workplace fatality motivated her to become an advocate in the space. We also touch on how losing her father motivated her to get her paperwork in order (Brooke's favorite topic!), and how it shifted her relationship with her mom.
September 9, 2020
33. Learning from Grief with Author Dara Kurtz
In this episode, Author Dara Kurtz (@crazyperflife) joins host @BrookeLJames to speak about losing her mom weeks after giving birth to her daughter, how watching her mom battle cancer influenced how she processed her own cancer diagnosis, and working through and learning from your grief.  Book Summary: A few weeks after Dara Kurtz had her first child, her mom passed away. So many times over the years, Dara has longed to talk to her mom, seek her guidance, and ask her what she thought about the life she has created for herself. An unexpected discovery of a Ziplock bag of letters, written to Dara by her mom and grandmothers, changed everything. One day, longing for contact with the strong women who had loved and raised her, she re-read the letters. They brought back beautiful family memories and taught her many life lessons; they caused her to reflect on the priceless love between mothers and daughters and how wisdom and traditions can be passed on from one generation to the next. Dara’s story inspires us to strengthen the bonds between mothers and daughters, to remember family traditions, to let go of the pain of loss, and to make the most of each day of our lives. Preorder Dara's book I Am My Mother's Daughter: Wisdom of Life, Loss and Love
September 1, 2020
32. Getting Real with Grief with Jayme Aills, host of Grief Unfiltered
In this week's episode, host @brookeljames gets REAL with Jayme Aills, host of @griefunfiltered. They talk about their experiences on dealing with grief differently than their siblings, how Jayme planned a wedding a few months after her mom's passing (she does not recommend this), why talking about grief is important, and how the experience of watching their parents die in hospice changed both of their perspective forever.
August 18, 2020
31. Using Comedy To Handle Hard Things with Host of Stage 4 Clinger, Comedian and Producer Kate Nicholls
In this episode, guest @katenichollzz (host of @stage4clingers)and host @brookeljames talks about how Kate uses comedy to deal with hard things, how to be more compassionate with yourself when dealing with life, and why Kate chose to start a podcast with her mom following her stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
August 4, 2020
30. What It's Like To Be A Homicide Survivor with Author and Podcaster Jan Canty
Do you ever wonder why after a homicide, we hear about the victim and the perpetrator but never the people who are left to pick up the pieces? In 1984, Jan Canty's life was turned upside down. Upon finding out her husband was murdered she also found out that he was living a double life. In this episode, host @brookeljames and guest Jan Canty discuss surviving homicide (media frenzy and all), how to deal with conflicted grief, and how to find closure. Head to Jan Canty's website to learn about her book A Life Divided and her podcast The Domino Effect of Murder
July 28, 2020
29. How Stillbirth Changed My Perspective with Coach Katrina Ubell, MD
In the latest episode, host @brookeljames speaks with former pediatrician and weight-loss coach for physicians, @coachkatrinaubellmd. Katrina shares her experience with stillbirth, what she found supportive after her loss, and how loss gave her clarity and perspective on shifting gears in her career.
July 21, 2020
28. How Grief Manifests in the Black American Experience
In this episode, Nikiesha McLennon, founder of The Corporate Doula, and Malakai Bailey share their experience of being Black in America. This episode came about when Nikiesha and Brooke were discussing the protests and Nikiesha asked Brooke if she was going to cover the collective grief in Black Americans. Nikiesha and Malakai share their experience and perspective on how grief manifests itself in a name, how they can't bring their whole self to work, and what the protests have sparked for them. Additionally, Nikiesha and Malakai share things that white people think are helpful to say in light of our current racial justice awakening but actually are not.  @kieesh; @the_corporatedoula @malakaibee @brookeljames; @the_griefcoach
June 23, 2020
27. Cleaning Out Your Loved Ones Home with Professional Organizer and Coach Shira Gill
In this episode, Professional Organizer @ShiraGill joins host @BrookeLJames to discuss cleaning out the home of a loved one. Shira and Brooke have very different styles on what they chose to keep after losing their fathers so you'll get to hear Shira's case for minimalism juxtaposed with Brooke wanting to keep everything her dad touched. They discuss cleaning strategies, how they both learned more about their fathers in going through their things, and what other family members wanted.
June 16, 2020
26. Losing A Sibling with Laura Obier, Mrs. Louisiana International 2020
In this episode host @BrookeLJames and Laura Obier discuss the loss of a sibling, reflecting on supporting a loved one before their death (and how we would have done it differently), and how grief changes family dynamics. Laura Obier is Mrs. Lousiana International and her platform is spreading hope through grief - something we definitely support here at The Grief Coach. for 10% off your first month of therapy
June 9, 2020
25. Self-love and Dating After Loss with Jonathon Aslay, Author, Relationship Coach and Podcaster
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames speaks with Relationship Coach @JonathonAslay on what to keep in mind when dating after a loss. How do you know when you're ready, what should you look out for in a partner after sharing a loss, the difference between showing empathy and sympathy, and how important self-love is in getting through a loss.
May 26, 2020
24. Resilience After Loss with Sashka Rothschild, Founder and CEO of Flowt
In this episode, Sashka Rothschild founder of @letsflowt, joins host @BrookeLJames for a conversation about building resilience after loss. Sashka shares what she learned after experiencing loss, what it's like to build a business and fundraise for a grief-focused business, and what can we do to change the cultural conversation on grief and loss.
May 13, 2020
23. How to Plan a Virtual Funeral with Christina Andreola, Founder of New Narrative Memorials
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames speaks with Christina Andreola, founder of @newnarrativememorials about considerations to be made when planning a virtual funeral. Christina shares her expertise on how we should be navigating this unchartered territory as we move for the time being to virtual remembrances.  New Narrative: Free Ebooks by New Narrative & LifeWeb 360 1. Guide For Families on Creating Virtual Ceremony 2. Guide for Funeral Directors  The Grief Coach:
May 5, 2020
22. Grieving During A Pandemic with Kiley Zeiler, Founder of The Rest
Host Brooke James and Kiley Ziler, founder of @_therest_ discuss what it's like to experience loss during a pandemic when all the grieving rituals we know are upended. Kiley recently lost her grandfather to natural causes and shares her experience in grieving separately from her family, planning a virtual funeral, and how she found comfort in these unprecedented times.  Kiley is the founder of The Rest, whose goal is to improve the end-of-life experiences for families.
April 28, 2020
21. Loss of a Pet with Stephanie Rogers, Grief Counselor at Lap of Love
In this episode, host @brookeljames and guest Stephanie Rogers, Grief Counselor at Lap of Love. Brooke and Stephanie discuss what it's like to lose a pet, how to talk to those who are grieving, and what grief can teach us.
April 21, 2020
20. Nourishing Yourself: Talking Grief, Appetite, Cooking and Corona with Amber Gentry, Founder of Health and Discovery
Amber Gentry, Health Coach and Founder of Health and Discovery and podcast host @BrookeLJames discuss the often unmentioned relationship between appetite, eating, and grief. They answer questions like "Why do some of us lose our appetite while some of us are ravenous?",  "What kind of foods will make you feel better when you feel like your world is falling apart?", "Why do so many people bring over a casserole after a death?" They talk about what foods to send to someone you love who is grieving a loss, how cooking can be grounding, and how our relationship with food and cooking is changing amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
April 14, 2020
19. Grieving Miscarriages and Trying Again with Amy Klein, Author of The Trying Game and NYTimes' Fertility Diary
In this episode host @brookeljames speaks with Amy Klein about her fertility journey. There are so many ways that you can not be pregnant. On this episode Amy and Brooke focus on miscarriages and trying again. We discuss Amy's experience and what it was like, and what not to say to people who have miscarried or are trying to get pregnant. Amy's book, The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind is out April 7, 2020 from Random House.
April 7, 2020
18. Learning How to Grieve Early with Adam Maclean, founder of
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames speaks with Adam Maclean, founder of on how his early exposure to funerals and grieving shaped his perspective on loss. Adam estimates that he's been to over 75 funerals in his life. We talk about how important it is to support people you love in their grief, how his mom taking him out for ice cream to talk about the deceased shaped a tradition he carries on to this day, and how hospice nurses are actual saints.
March 31, 2020
17. The Grief Process is A Mental Health Process and Other Conversations with Sarah Casden, Co-Founder of Hello Wellness
In this episode host, @brookeljames speaks with @sarahcasden co-founder of @sayhellowellness on how they connected over grief and loss being a mental health issue. Sarah share's her story of keeping her mom's diagnosis a secret until she was in hospice, why even though Sarah lost a parent she considers herself lucky, and how travel shakes up your routine and can be super helpful when grieving.
March 24, 2020
16. What does it really mean to be a caregiver? With Libby Brittain, founder of Quilt
In this episode, host @brookeljames speaks with @libbybrittain, founder of Quilt, on the in's and out's of caregiving. Did you know that 34 million people in the United States provide unpaid care to someone over 50? And 6 in 10 of those 34 million are doing that while working a full-time job? and 1 in 4 of those 34 people are millennials. Brooke and Libby talk about their own caregiving experiences, how Libby deciding to found quilt, her coaching business to advise those who are caregivers to their parents, and the emotional rollercoaster that is caregiving.  Libby provides helpful strategies in how to have discussions with your parents and siblings around caregiving, and how to reframe things for yourself so you don't get overwhelmed while caregiving. We also talk about #coronavirus and how for a lot of us it's a preview into what caring for our parents is like.
March 17, 2020
15. Caring for Those At The End Of Life with Amy Levine, Executive Director of The Doula Program
In this episode, host @BrookeLJames sits down with Amy Levine, Executive Director of The Doula Program To Accompany And Comfort to talk about how we care for and speak to those near the end of life. We discuss how being vulnerable in your needs and communication is beneficial to both you and the person in end-of-life care, how not talking about end-of-life as a society is detrimental to us, and with her background on geriatric psychiatry, we talked about better ways to talk to people who are older, but not dying. The Doula Program: The Grief Coach:
March 10, 2020
14. Intentional Living, Legacy, and God with Kreis Beall, Author and Co-founder of Blackberry Farm
In this episode, @KreisBeall joins host @BrookeLJames to discuss what loss taught her about intentional living and honoring the legacy of those we've lost. In three years Kreis lost her son, her father and her mother-in-law and had a unique experience with each of those losses. Kreis speaks beautifully about what each of those losses showed her, and touches on Brooke's favorite subject, how setting up your affairs is an act of love for those who are left behind.  Kreis recently published a memoir The Great Blue Hills of God with Convergent Books which dives deeper into her life. Pick up a copy to read her story.
March 3, 2020
13. Talking About Wills Won't Kill You -- T&E Attorney Roxy Hammett Breaks Down What Millennials Need to Know About End-of-Life Paperwork
In episode 13 host @BrookeLJames brings on Roxanna Hammett, a Trust and Estates Attorney from Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, to discuss what you actually need to know about end-of-life paperwork. People don't talk about this subject and often times the first time they are thinking about this is after someone dies. However, this is something that you should be thinking about every few years. Roxy and Brooke discuss what do we as millennials actually need to know about wills, why wills are important to have even if you think you don't have any assets, how to convince your parents to make a will if they don't already have one, and what happens if your parent dies and they don't have a will (hint: a mess). Talking to your loved ones about their end-of-life paperwork is one of the things Brooke feels strongest about and she's very excited to present this episode. Enjoy! The Grief Coach Instagram: @the_griefcoach The Grief Coach Website:
February 19, 2020
12. Love Advice From My Dead Dad with Casey Blue James
In episode 12, host @brookeljames has her cousin @caseybluejames on the pod to talk about "what would Beau do?" After all, his advice was legendary. Brooke and her cousin Casey would often talk about their romantic life with Beau and they are sharing what they advised them to do. Brooke also talks about finding her dad's dating app profiles and taking them down, and how they honor his advice to this day. 
February 11, 2020
11. Thriving versus Surviving: Living with grief and PTSD With Megan Hillukka of Cultivated Family
In episode 11 of The Grief Coach, host @BrookeLJames interviews Megan Hillukka, founder of Carrying Grief and the host of the @CultivatedFamily podcast on her experience with the loss of her daughter Aria and her grief journey. Megan and Brooke discuss navigating loss, their experiences with therapy, how self-care can be hard work, and how to thrive after grief.  They also discuss why they have chosen to build the resources that they have built.  Megan's Website: Free mini-course Who Am I?: The Grief Coach: The Grief Coach Instagram:
February 4, 2020
10. Grieving people we've never met and reminders from tragedy
In this week's episode host @BrookeLJames talks about grieving celebrities in the wake of the helicopter accident that killed Kobe Bryant. She talks about what feelings it brought up for her, has suggestions for how to deal with grief of celebrities and people you know, and reminders for a well-lived life because nothing is certain.  Reach out at
January 28, 2020
09. It costs *how* much to bury someone? And other musings with Liz Eddy of Lantern
In episode 9, Lantern CEO Liz Eddy joins host Brooke James to talk about the financial cost of death, something most of us never think about until we are faced with the bill. This is not the best time to be learning about the cost of death for the first time as emotions are high and it's easy to make decisions that you wouldn't necessarily make with a clear head. Liz and Brooke also discuss the benefits of pre-planning, innovation in the "death-tech" industry (Hint: dying well is trendy), and personal experiences with grief on social media.  Find lantern on social at @followlantern and online at Find the grief coach on social @the_griefcoach and online at
January 21, 2020
08. Different grief experiences between sudden and expected death
In episode 8, host @BrookeLJames talks with @marenmiller1 on her experience with losing her mother suddenly. Brooke and Maren the difference in their grief experience of a sudden versus an expected loss of a parent. @the_griefcoach
January 14, 2020
07. How to talk to children about grief and other advice with the COPE foundation
In Episode 7, host @BrookeLJames brings on Adam Rabinovitch, Executive Director of The Cope Foundation (@Copefoundation.camperinnyc), and he discusses how his own experience with childhood grief drew him to the work he does today. The Cope Foundation provides support services for bereaved parents and children who have lost a child or sibling, respectively. We talk about how children grieve at different developmental stages, how to talk to them about what is happening, and suggestions for including them in the grieving process.  You can find The Grief Coach on social at @the_griefcoach and send any feedback or ideas for future episodes to
January 7, 2020
06. Reflections on first milestones and new traditions
In episode 6 host @brookeljames reflects on her dad's birthday (Dec 22) and the holidays, grieving places and old traditions, how to make new traditions, how to honor grief, and how she got through the holiday season.
December 31, 2019
05. How attitudes towards the death industry have changed with Elizabeth Meyer Karansky of Farewelling
In episode 5 we have OG @lyzymeyer on for an interview. After losing her father in her early twenties, Liz left the world of fashion and PR to work in a funeral home. We talk about her experience with her father's death, why she decided to join the death industry, how attitudes towards those working in the industry have changed in the past decade, Liz's new venture @myfarewelling and more! You can find us on instagram @the_griefcoach or reach out at
December 17, 2019
04. Talk to your loved ones about their paperwork
In this episode of The Grief Coach, host @brookeljames talks about four very important pieces of paperwork: power of attorney, health care proxy, living will and last will & testament. We all know that these are important, but so many of us have a difficult time talking to loved ones about what these documents contain and where the signed originals are kept. If you don't have them and know what's in them, it's an unnecessary variable in a very stressful time in your life.  The timing of this episode is such to encourage you to have conversations about these documents before you spend time with your loved ones over the holidays. If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to or DM @the_griefcoach.
December 11, 2019
03. How to support a partner in their grief
In this episode of The Grief Coach host @brookeLjames brings on the show's first guest, Hannah, to talk about how to support a partner through a loss. Hannah's now-husband lost his father suddenly six months before they got married. We discuss how to balance two different styles of grieving, how they chose to honor his memory at their wedding, and if it's ever possible to experience uninterrupted happiness again after a monumental loss. You can find The Grief Coach on Instagram at @the_griefcoach and send any feedback or ideas for future episodes to Please note there is a minor audio issue in the last minute and a half. I thought that Hannah's advice was great which is why I didn't cut it.
December 2, 2019
02. Grief on social media
In episode 2 of The Grief Coach host, @brookeljames talks about grief on social media. Why do people grieve on social media? What should you consider before posting about a death on social media? How do you shut down a loved one's social media? And what the hell is going on with the memories algorithm?  You can find us on instagram at @the_griefcoach, reach out at and online at
November 26, 2019
01. "I'm sorry for your loss" and other misguided things people say
In the debut episode of The Grief Coach host @BrookeLJames talks about what is actually the right thing to say to someone experiencing a loss. Then at 14:25 she gives ideas for things to send to someone grieving besides flowers.  You can find The Grief Coach on instagram @the_griefcoach and please feel free to reach out to
November 20, 2019