At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Delores Gulledge about life after the death of her 17 year old daughter Melanie. She shares how she went forward with her life and found a way to help others.

Delores is also the author of a book called “A Mourning Miracle”, which she wrote while in the process of putting her life back together after the death of her daughter. Her book was written to help others who are going through the same experience.

In the video below, Delores share her advice on how to go about getting your life back together after the death of a child or loved one.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • The hard work of grief is putting your life back together and taking those shattered pieces and sorting through them.
  • Delores also recommends a type of art therapy that symbolizes putting life back together by putting together a mosaic. The process works by taking something whole, like a glass bowl, and breaking it. Then you rearrange the pieces and create a mosaic out of the broken object.
  • Find ways to restructure your life, and relearn your world, and be intentional about it.
  • Delores advocates for looking at the grief and making the intentional decision that the grief will not control you for the rest of your life.
  • Take the circumstance you’re in and choose to do something positive with it, don’t let it be wasted.
  • Delores’ message is that there is hope, and life can be recreated. Your life will never be the same, but it can be good if you choose to make it that way.

For more video interviews, please see the Open To Hope YouTube channel.

Heidi Horsley

Dr. Heidi Horsley is a licensed psychologist, social worker, and bereaved sibling. She co-hosts the award-winning weekly cable television show and podcast, Open to Hope. Dr. Heidi is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and an award-winning author, who has co-authored eight books, and serves on the United Nations Global Mental Health Task Force. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for the Tragedy Assistance Program, the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and Peace of Mind Afghanistan. She served on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, and for 10 yrs. worked on a Columbia University research study looking at traumatic loss over time in families who lost a firefighter in the World Trade Center.

More Articles Written by Heidi