A Journey to Overcoming Tragedy

08 Dec

Grief can be amongst the most challenging emotions that we experience in a lifetime. What we each choose to do with our grief varies, but many often find comfort in sharing their stories. We each create a unique path on our road to recovery, whether it be an inner, private process, or manifested through the mediums of film, storytelling, writing, art or therapy for example.

After the feature documentary “Transforming Loss” the BolderLife Festival audience shared  an intimate conversation with a panel of two women who experienced life altering losses, and found their own ways to transcend their grief. The discussion explored grief, loss and the journey to overcoming tragedy.

The panelists were Denise Reed Livingston and Judith Burdick.

panel transforming

Director of “Transforming Loss” Judith Burdick  received the BolderLife Festival  Honorable Mention Award.

judith and erin


BolderLife Festival: How did you get involved to BolderLife? And why did you decide to be a part of this festival?

Denise: Dawn Bower asked to speak at BolderLife Fest.

Judith: BolderLife’s mission and my documentary, Transforming Loss, are a perfect fit. My overall purpose in producing a film that brings light to a subject that is difficult though necessary, is to break through social barriers that don’t serve humanity with an honest and hopeful message around loss and resiliency.


BolderLife Festival: Would you please introduce yourself?

Denise: I’m a native of Colorado and still love it here! Besides my husband and our son, I have a dog and denisethree kitties. I love being with my family, whether it’s hiking, playing board games or watching a good flick together. On my own, I love being a creative soul exploring different mediums and practice yoga. That about sums me up!

Judith: I’m a psychotherapist/filmmaker, grief and loss specialist, who is dedicated to helping people transform their suffering into something growth promoting and life affirming.


BolderLife Festival: You will host a discussion panel following the film „Transforming Loss“. What do you think about this film? Why are you on this panel?

Judith: This is my life’s work and current expression of my own transformation, following the tragic/untimely death of my husband 22 years ago.


BolderLife Festival: What do you think about in BolderLife’s new mission/vision statement?

Denise: Love it!

Judith: As mentioned earlier, this documentary is completely synchronistic with the mission of judithBolderLife…certainly a “bold” approach to the grief process which serves to promote a healthier approach to the subject of death (and loss).  It also provides inspiration to those who are truly suffering, providing a hopeful and positive way to navigate the tough waters of grief.


BolderLife Festival: What would you say to the world: Why should people come to the festival?

Denise: To broaden their horizons.

Judith: To see and experience alternative and positve ways to approach some of life’s most important issues/experiences.


BolderLife Festival: Do you live a BolderLife? What do you personally think how to live a bolder life?

Judith:  For me, it’s about facing myself daily and honoring who I am first…then taking care of others. This has required a lot of healing work in order to release the “shoulds” and early programing.  As a result of much hard work and some healthy risk-taking, I am able to live a bolder life!

Thank you very much!



Transforming Loss trailer 

3 Responses to “A Journey to Overcoming Tragedy”

  1. Roberta Kourtakis January 31, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    My grown son who was a US Marine Infantry, a graduate of North Farmington High School was 15 when he lost his older brother from contaminated blood. A 9 th grader who was treated horrible by the staff of North Farmington. One of the assitstant principles told him ” Your brother died , get over it. He loved his brother so much. He lost his father from cancer at age 9. He went on to Albion college joined the Marines, active duty for 4 years and then 2 grad degrees and now has a wonderful job in DC. I will never forget the agony I brought him through and the cold hearted response form the staff at North Farmington. Mrs. Kourtakis

  2. Judith March 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Dear Roberta, this is a very sad though all too common experience people go through at the hands of the ignorant. I’m so happy to know that your son, despite the pain of his loss, clearly allowed it to fuel his own personal empowerment, rather than letting the pain crush him. Thank you for sharing this sad, but hopeful experience of loss for you and your beloved son.


  1. Link to Panel Discussion – Transforming Loss from Bolderlife Film Festival | Transforming Loss - A Documentary by Judith R. Burdick - December 9, 2013

    […] http://www.bolderlifefestival.com/2013/12/08/a-journey-to-overcoming-tragedy/ […]

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