Life After Death Follows Tyler Henry’s Quest To Uncover The Truth About His Mom’s Family
She says she was kidnapped as a child and raised by a criminal.
In the new Netflix series Life After Death with Tyler Henry, “Hollywood’s go-to medium” Tyler Henry travels the country offering closure to families by claiming to speak to their dead loved ones. But the show is also about unraveling a true crime mystery in his own life: in 2019, Tyler Henry’s mom, Theresa Koelewyn, took a DNA test and discovered the woman who raised her was not her biological mom. She says she was kidnapped, and that the woman who raised her was a convicted killer. “I want to learn more about what happened to my mom’s family,” Henry says in the show. “She could’ve had a completely different life that was taken from her by this criminal.”
In the first episode, Henry and his mom look at her birth certificate. “Up until my mid-50s, I thought my biological parents were Stella [Mary Guidry] and Gwle [Nestle],” she says. Now she knows that the certificate, which has some misspellings, was doctored. But she described finding out that Guidry wasn’t her mom as feeling like “a ton of bricks” was lifted off of her, because Guidry served 30 years in prison and was a known con artist. According to Theresa, Guidry would often take her to a new church when she was a child and use her to trick people into giving them money. “She’s everything bad a person could be,” Theresa says.
Throughout the show, Henry helps his mom investigate more about her birth mother, and eventually they meet up with her biological family in New Orleans. They admit that Theresa’s biological mom “had a breakdown” after giving her up, but what really mattered was that they finally found each other again.
It’s an emotional tale, but despite being separated from her biological family for so long, Theresa always had the support of her son and husband. Henry explains in the show that his family is close, and he’s always confided in his mom. Because he had a brain cyst and ministroke at 18 years old that convinced him to stop driving, his mom even acts as his chauffeur and often accompanies him to his medium appointments.
There is understandably a lot of skepticism surrounding Henry’s claim that he can speak to people’s loved ones from beyond the grave — he was once called a “grief vampire”. But Theresa has never doubted her son. She’s his No. 1 cheerleader, posting about how excited she is for his show on Twitter and sharing links to his books and his messages of positivity on Instagram.
"It sounds stereotypical, but my mom is my best friend,” Tyler says on the show. “My mom gets me, I get her — we're beyond the point of cordiality.”