Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pedersen Opens Conference With Words of Encouragement

In the opening ceremony for The Compassionate Friends national conference this past July 10-13, new executive director Alan Pedersen made some comments about his new position, his goals and his songs.

“One thing I want to do," he said, "is to empower people to reach out and continue their child’s legacy." "We are here because a child lived, not because they died. Do not call this a grief conference. Call it a ‘love conference.’ Our children died, but the love we have for them didn’t. We will never get over the death, but we can walk through it."

“The difference between grief, mourning and bereavement is that grief is what goes on inside us (tears, love); mourning is the outward expression of our grief; bereavement is living the rest of our lives with this loss. Pain is the fuel that allows us to get back up and go on with our lives. Compassionate Friends will be there for you—by your side and walk with you.

“The perspective does change. It will get better. Express the love inside you for your child. Think of a loving memory of your child or loved ones. Pull it off the shelf and put it in your heart and mind. Wrap yourself in a blanket of love and celebrate their lives.”

Alan always loved writing music and playing the guitar. After his daughter died, he wrote his first grief song, “I Remember You.” And he played it for his first conference. After that first time, he was asked to speak and sing from then on at many conferences. His words gave comfort to many heartbroken individuals. He continued writing and singing music and did a CD. He closed his opening speech with the song, “Love Lives On.”

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