Oct 26, 2020
As an Intervention Specialist at
a suburban Atlanta High School, Joy Crowe taught special education
for 37 years. Furthermore, she specialized in working with students
with emotional and behavior disorders.
In this episode, Joy reflects on
losing two of her three sons to a drug overdose and nearly losing
her third son to COVID-19. We discuss the shame associated with
addiction and how Joy is getting through each day in light of
unbelievable loss. Finally, learn how Joy came to realize that she
couldn’t “fix” her children, She could only fix herself.
shares her story and how her oldest son Brenden, passed away from a
drug overdose on 28 September 2011.
Joy lost her second son Alex, to an overdose on 25 February
- Furthermore, we talk about the risk factors for
addiction such as being gifted, diagnosed with ADHD, and seeking an
describes the day she learned her oldest son, Brenden, was using
juvenile justice system is overloaded with children with mental
was able to get Brenden into a long term rehabilitative
Joy describes what happened when Brenden returned home from the
shares all she did to try to help her son.
- Ultimately, she learned how to set boundaries.
You love your child but not the addict.
the other children in the family suffer because the focus tends to
be on the addict.
- Unfortunately, Brenden relapsed and Joy got the
call she never wanted to get.
Joy describes her life after Brenden’s funeral.
felt shame around child dying from a drug
Joy felt like an outsider and like people thought it was her
- Furthermore, it took Joy 4 years to detach from
the idea that Brenden’s death was her fault.
can't take on the whole responsibility of Brenden becoming an
addict and she won't be ashamed of it anymore.
she joined a local organization of moms called Warrior
tight knit group helps other parents and advocates for legislative
Joy talks about her son, Alex, and shares his
started drinking at an early age and he silently became addicted to
never saw Alex’s death coming.
especially hard to grieve during COVID.
- Depression and isolation sink in even worse
gets by day by day.
son Josh the light of her life
and his father became ill with COVID and his father passed
away from COVID in July 2020.
Joy describes the differences in her 3 son’s
never heal and talking about it helps.
shares some tips for living with an addict.
Joy talks about what she’s doing in memory of her
- Finally, say their name.
Donate to Brenden’s Scholarship Fund:
How to donate to the
Brenden M. Elbaz Scholarship Fund: Donations can be made in 2 different ways: 1)
Send a check in any amount made out to GCPS (Gwinnett County Public
Schools) Foundation Fund with the designation to BRENDEN ELBAZ
SCHOLARSHIP. Or 2) go to the website:
If you mail a check please send
c/o Gwinnett County Public
437 Old Peachtree