I know that it sounds dramatic, but the truth is, Alan is a saviorÂ to me.
Along with a few other very special people in the grief community, Alan helped me to find a way to becoming an Intentional Survivor of My Daughter, RobynApril’s Death, instead of falling as just a Collateral Victim.Â In the 8 years that I have had Alan in my life, he has made a difference in the depth of my grief andÂ in the way that I have been able to allow the light of Robbie’s love to steer me forward.Â I have replayed his words, both in song and in presentations, over and over again in my head and in my heart.
Meeting Alan can be life changing.
Alan Pedersen Opened My Heart and Helped to Let The Music Back In
HOW I MET ALAN
Jim and I had the privilege of hearing Alan sing at the July 2010 National Compassionate Friends Conference.
It wasnâ€™t a workshop that I had intended to take, but a series of events â€œaccidentallyâ€Â placed me there (there are no coincidences!Â As it turned out, I was exactly where I need to be, even if I didnâ€™t think that I wanted to beâ€¦)
I had no intention of attending any workshops with music in them.Â Music, to me, had become painfulÂ It seared at my heart and reminded me of who I didn’t have, what I could no longer have.Â Music had been a central force of my life with my daughter.Â We were DJs.Â We were Line Dance Instructors.Â She choreographed first dances for our wedding couples.Â She competed in Ballroom, Line dance, partner and team dance.Â She was the internationally renowned choreographer ofÂ the Line Dance DANCIN’ IN BLACK;Â the first ever known line dance choreographer to hip hop music – Will Smith’s MEN IN BLACK.
Music had filled our lives.
But, suddenly, there I was, having “Accidentally” found myself in a workshop presented by Mitch Carmody, signing to Songs of the Sorrowful.
And Alan’s music was being featured.
I cried alot during that workshop.Â Unabashed, unashamed tears.Â Tears of a newly bereaved mom, looking to allow and release The Pain of the Death of my first born child of two, my only daughter.
Alan’s words sang my life.
I took a first seat in the very next workshop that Alan was presenting.
From the first gentle note of his songs, I felt as if I was being wrapped in a warm, gentle blanket.
The more Alan sang, the more I was certain that he had seen into my soul, my pain, my journey since my daughterâ€™s death, and put to music everything that I have been feeling.Â Before I left the conference, I had purchased Alanâ€™s 3 highly acclaimed (and I know why they are!) CDs. (there are now 5, with a 6th on the way)
To hear him sing in person melted my heart.Â At times I felt asÂ if Robyn were whispering in his ear exactly what she wanted me to hear; exactly what I needed to hear.
His song DADDY SMILE, felt like a message from Robbie directly to me.Â And though it caused me to weep the first dozen or so times I listened, it also began to fill my heart with understanding that the light of her love could be my guiding light going forward.Â Alan was singing to my heart.Â I NEEDED to hear those words.
That conference, as I took Alan’s workshops, I felt something slightly shift.
In between songs, Alan shared his experiences as a bereaved dad and how his journey led him to the musical mission he hasÂ created: ANGELS ACROSS THE USAÂ Â I strongly related to Alan when he retold the story of how he left music after his daughterâ€™s death, because it felt too painful to go on without her.Â After that first workshop,Â I shared with Alan that I had not been able to return to Line Dance (the classes that Robbie and I taught together) or to the wedding business that we began together.Â Â Alan shared about nearly destroying his guitars, certain that he would never sing again.Â But, then, something changed for him, as Ashley became even more of a part of his music then she had been before.Â InÂ Ashleyâ€™s memory, Alan began to reach out to others through his songs.
I know that he reached my heart.
I may never be ready to return to the places in my professional life that still scream loudly with Robynâ€™s absence, but Alan has provided me with hope that I would be able to continue living in her honor.
Even though Alan is inspired by his Ashley, Alan sings for each one of those â€œangels gone too soonâ€; for every parent who has ever lost a child, for every sibling and grandparent whose heart aches.Â When Alan sings it issnâ€™t just pretty words and melody.Â He paints a picture of our grief journeys and yet, somehow, manages to fill the room, and our hearts, with peace, gentleness and hope.
Alanâ€™s message is simple,
â€œWe were put on this earth to love them for as long as WE live, not for as long as THEY lived.â€
He believes that “healing” comes slow, but does come as we reach out to others who share this journey and offer our hand to help.
Alan extends Hope to those of us in so much pain from loss.
With a gentle mix of humor and straight-from-the-heart talk wrapped around powerful songs about love and loss, time spent with Alan Pedersen will make for a unique, healing and memorable experience. ♥
Alanâ€™s music speaks to my heartâ€¦Â enjoy a samplingâ€¦.shared with full permission
HOPE HEALING HOPE RADIO PROGRAM Featuring Alan Pedersen talking about Guilt and Regrets