Speaker/songwriter guest speaker at Compassionate Friends conference

ESCANABA – Speaker/songwriter Alan Pedersen will be the guest speaker and performer at the “Angels Across the USA Tour 2013” conference sponsored by the Southern Upper Peninsula Chapter of the Compassionate Friends. The event will take place on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Escanaba High School auditorium.

Pedersen is an inspirational speaker on grief and loss, as well as an award-winning songwriter and successful recording artist. In August of 2001, his only daughter died in a car accident. Since that event, Pedersen has turned his journey through the valley of grief and the pain of loss into a collection of powerful and moving songs recorded onto four highly acclaimed CDs.

Pedersen speaks and plays his original music at more than 100 events each year throughout the United States. His gentle mix of humor and straight-from-the-heart talk, wrapped around powerful songs about love, loss and healing, make for a unique experience.

Compassionate Friends is a self-help support organization which has a mission to assist bereaved families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age, and to provide information to help others be supportive.

When a child dies, families mourn and begin the long process of bereavement. The many different emotions often experienced by grieving families include shock, disbelief, sadness, loneliness, depression, fear, anger, regret, guilt, despair and person loss. These feelings are all part of the emotional reaction called grief.

Sharing with others is the very heart of the TCF chapter meeting where members feel free to talk about their child who has died, the emotions they are experiencing, and the painful, thoughtless comments that may have been made to them. They also share their feelings of sadness, guilt, anger and discuss the progress they are making and ways of coping that have been helpful to them.

Anyone who has experienced the loss of a child, no matter what their age, as well as their families and friends, is welcome to attend the conference. A meet-and-greet will follow the conference.

Admission is free. For more information, contact Neil or Betty at 786-0477.