ProActive Grieving~a Gift to Give Yourself ~ A DAY WITH MITCH AND ALAN

At first the word PROActive scared me.
Would being Proactive in Grief mean pushing aside the deep emotion
after the death of my beloved daughter;
to pretend to myself and the world that it never happened?

Would Being Proactive in Grief mean not allowing the sadness
that is I know is completely appropriate
when my first born is encased in a pendant around my neck;
an  urn upon a table,
instead of sitting next to me, holding my hand?

Robbie collage baby
I was not ready to give up the pain of Robyn’s loss…
and when I first heard the words
I was afraid that such a workshop was going to “push” me to disconnect from her…
to no longer feel what is natural to experience after the death of my RobynApril.

But then I attended my first
PROActive Grieving
A Day With Mitch and Alan

It wasn’t about Forgetting
or learning techniques and tools to Push Away Grief.
It was about Learning Tools To Take Love and Memories
and rebuild A Life using them as a Foundation,
As Glue;
As What Could Help to Hold Me Together,
Instead Of Tear Me Apart.

Bereaved Dads and Grief Specialists,
Mitch Carmody and Alan Pedersen
have reached inside their own souls,
after having been turning inside out after the deaths of their own beloved children,
and not only found a way TO SURVIVE, but a way to
Turn the Loss Into Legacy….
To build on the love of their children
and become
Intentional Survivors of Living
instead of Collateral victims of their deaths.

I know that this is what Robbie wants for me…
and I know that she is behind me reaching this in my own Ready Time.
Being part of my first
Day With Mitch and Alan
allowed me to store what I needed
and prepare, taking the baby steps that I was ready for,
to begin a return to living,
not only in Robbie’s honor,
but in my own.

If you have ever felt overwhelming grief and wondered
Then Give yourself A Gentle Gift.

Join our TCF East Of The River CT Chapter
February 16, 2013
as we host


Find Love
Within Yourself
Within Your Loved One
Within Life, Again.  ♥

What Is PROActive Grieving ~ A Day With Mitch And Alan

Kelly's DadRobynApril's Mom Ashley's Dad Not Just For As Long As They  Lived, But For As Long As We Do

Kelly’s Dad
RobynApril’s Mom
Ashley’s Dad
Not Just For As Long As They Lived,
But For As Long As We Do

Bereaved Dad Offers Hope, Compassion, Understanding



Angels Across The USA Tour Event
Hosted ByThe Compassionate Friends
East Of The River CT Chapter
September 7, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Hampton Inn & Suites
1432 Pleasant Valley Rd
Manchester, CT

When I think of Alan and Denise Howard Pedersen and The Angels Across The USA Tour, I think of sipping hot chocolate, wrapped up in a warm fuzzy blanket on a frigid winter’s night, howling winds attempting to rattle the windows, but feeling safe and protected inside.  Alan and Denise tour theUnited States providing caring, compassion, love and understanding to the bereaved.

On Friday September 7, at 7:00 Alan and Denise will be making an appearance for the TCF East Of The River CT Chapter  at the Hampton Inn & Suites, in Manchester, CT. 

Alan’s presentation features a mix of humor and straight-from-the-heart talk with songs about love and loss.  In October of 2010 Alan and Denise helped us recognize the opening of our newly founded chapter with an evening of song and stories.  Those attending left with the feeling of having been hugged all night.

Said one dad,
“It wasn’t even just his music, though the music is beyond great.  It was the words in between the songs.  I guess I knew that they were grief counselors, but I didn’t realize how much one evening could help me so much, just listening to Alan and everything he shared.”

From a newly bereaved mom:
“Alan sang to my soul.  It is like he looked inside of me and told me that as much as it hurts and it is going to hurt, that somehow, someday, in a different way, it will be ok.”

I know that for me, what Alan shared from his own grief experience after the loss of his own beloved daughter Ashley, and his music, opened a door for me that I needed to go through in order to keep my sanity and (and I am not sure how to explain this…) return to loving Robyn in a gentler, warmer way.

This event or any of the other Angel Across The USA events can make a “better” difference in your life.  Over and over, I have heard Alan quoted and paraphrased by so many who attended our 2010 event.

“When asked how long will you grieve, Alan’s response was perfect:  As long as she is dead.”

“I am her dad, for not as long as she lived, but as long as I do.”

 Alan not only gives the bereaved permission to grieve, and even encourages the necessity of grief, but provides a safe place to smile and laugh, and remember with gentleness.♥
Forever RobynApril’s mom 



Seating is limited to the first 40 who register.
Confirmation emails will be sent within 24 hours of registration.
In the event that we need to relocate the event every attempt will be made to contact all those who have registered, so please make sure to double check your contact information.

(Because the songs and conversation is centered around bereavement, grief, and healing, it may not be appropriate for young children with short attention spans who may become disruptive.  Please use good judgment in bringing children. )

Though Alan, Denise are both bereaved parents, Alan’s events are NOT LIMITED TO BEREAVED PARENTS.  Anyone who has experienced grief or experiences grief from the loss of a loved one will find both Alan’s music and the words spoken between the songs encouraging and compassionate.
To learn more about Alan and Denise, The Angels Across the USA Tour, or to receive their FREE Grief and Beyond  Newsletter, visit their site  at
Angels Across The USA or on Facebook 

Courtesy of The Compassionate Friends East Of The River CT Chapter, the event is free to all those attending.  Donations will be accepted, separately, for both the East Of The River CT Chapter and the Angels Across the USA Tour.

Alan and Denise will have CDs and other Angels’ merchandise available for purchase.  ♥


Alan will also be in
Monroe  Connecticut~  13 September
Edith Wheeler Library
733 Monroe Tpke  Monroe Ct

Stamford, Connecticut  The Compassionate Friends ~17 September
Tully Health Center
32 Strawberry Hill Court, Stamford, CT




2012 International Conference Brings Compassionate Families Together!

Registration is now open for anyone wishing to attend TCF’s 35th National/5th International Gathering to be held July 20-22 in Costa Mesa, California. Registration opened almost two months earlier than normal this year due to the International aspects of the event.

Whispers of Love Workshop 2011 TCF National Conference

“We are expecting bereaved families to attend from many of the more than 30 countries where TCF has a national presence,” says Patricia Loder, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends/USA. “We welcome to this conference all who are grieving the death of a child, for grief is a universal language and one that TCF’ers around the world know all too well.”

Caring and Compassion

About 1500 are expected to register for the event and reservations for rooms at the host hotel, the Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa Hotel, have been heavier than expected, already leading to the arrangement for overflow accommodations at The Hanford Hotel  across the street (see for latest information)

This year’s conference features four wonderful keynote speakers are :

  • The Reverend Canon Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends worldwide and bereaved sibling, who will travel from his home in Moscow to share his thoughts with the large International and U.S. crowd that is expected to gather.
  • Lois Duncan, the prolific and award winning author of 48 books. But, the most difficult one she ever had to write was Who Killed My Daughter?, the story behind her search for the truth in the death of her 18-year-old daughter Kaitlyn Arquette in what police called a random drive by shooting.
  • Kathy Eldon, journalist, author, producer, activist, and mother who found her life changed forever when her 22-year-old son, Dan Eldon, A Reuters photographer, was stoned to death by an angry mob as he did his job in Somalia in July of 1993. Among her books are Angel Catcher: A Journal of Loss and Remembrance and The Journey is the Destination.
  • Darcie Sims, always popular international keynote speaker, who brings her wit and wisdom as a bereaved parent and certified grief management specialist to the podium in Costa Mesa. Co-founder of Grief, Inc., an international grief consulting firm, Darcie is a well known and respected author and speaker. She wrote the grief book,  Why are the Casseroles Always Tuna?

TCF conferences are known for their great entertainment and this year will be no different. Featured will be California entertainers including the Love in Motion Signing Choir; TCF favorite Alan Pedersen; Cassidy Mueller and Chris Donohue, local favorites.

Love in Motion Choir
  • There will be over 100 workshops for bereaved parents and also a full track of workshops for bereaved siblings.
  • A host of sharing sessions on various grief related topics will be held Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • Meet & Greets Thursday, July 19 for: Siblings; Grandparents; Online Support Community; TCF/USA Facebook members; and Regional Coordinators Meet & Greet with Chapter Leaders.
  • The International Gathering will include a Spanish workshop and sharing session Thursday, July 19, 2012 for our Hispanic/Latino families and bilingual families
  • Friday ~”An Evening with Darcie Sims” where her topic will be: Finding Your Way Through Grief: Does Grief Come in “One Size Fits All?”
  • Sibling trip Friday to Dave and Buster’s
  • Sunday morning hosts The National WALK TO REMEMBER ~
    The Compassionate Friends Walk to Remember® is a highlight of every TCF National Conference. It was created as a symbolic way to show the love we carry for the children we mourn. Held at 8 a.m. Sunday on the final day of the national conference it starts at the host hotel of the conference.  There is an air of anticipation and excitement as everyone gathers in preparation for the start of the Walk. Finally the Walk begins and, hand-in-hand everyone walks, meditating on a much different time in their lives. Since its inception in 2000, the Walk to Remember has taken on many distinctive facets. There is the main Walk to Remember where those attending the conference join with local bereaved families and others who fly in from across the country just for the Walk.  As many as 1400 have participated. Some go the full distance while others only walk a short way knowing that in participating, they are remembering. Special Walk to Remember T-shirts are given to all who register, as well as walk bibs where the names of the children being remembered can be written.
  • Combine your California visit with a time of relaxation and meditation with a pre-conference excursion on Thursday, July 19 to the Huntington Library, art collection and botanical gardens, plus Monday, post-conference transportation to Disneyland (special discounted tickets available to purchase online direct from Disneyland).
  • And at the Conference -Don’t miss the Meditation Room; Fully stocked Bookstore; the Butterfly Boutique; Hospitality Suites; and the silent auction/raffle.

TCF has also arranged with American Airlines to provide those attending the conference a 5% discount available on all American Airlines, American Eagle, and American Connection. The valid travel dates for the discount are July 14-27, 2012. To take advantage of this discount, go to to book your flight and use the Promotional Code 2372DJ and your discount will be automatically calculated. Flights eligible include any arriving at John Wayne Santa Anna Airport (SNA), LAX, and Ontario (ONT) Airports.

For more information on the conference including online registration – News and Events TCF 2012 National Conference and 5th International Gathering or call 877-969-0010.♥


Mitch Carmody, 2011 Key Note Presenter

Angel Moms Care
Jim Darby, Wayne Loder, Bettie-Jeanne, Pat Loder
Preparing To Walk - TCF Walk To Remember 2011