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Angels Across the USA Blog

Archive by author: Alan PedersenReturn

Alan Pedersen is an award-winning speaker, songwriter and recording artist. His inspirational message and music about finding hope after loss resonate deeply with those facing grief and adversity in their lives

MY Grief MY Rules

It’s MY grief … It’s MY rules!  There is something extremely empowering about proclaiming and living by those words.  Over the years I have shared this message with tens of thousands of grievers on the importance of being as proactive as possible on your grief journey.  When we strongly hold the position that nobody understands our loss and the unique relationship of that loss more that we ourselves do, we learn to trust our instincts and make choices that help find the best possible path for...
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Finding Gifts in Grief

If someone had told me early in my grief journey that one day I would write a blog about gifts in grief, I would have thought they were crazy.  First of all, when Ashley died in 2001, I didn’t know what a blog was, so there’s that.  But, the mere thought that I could get to a place where I could write in any forum about the topic of gifts and grief would have seemed ludicrous.  In those early months of grief, I could see nothing but endless sorrow, pain and hopelessness.
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My Child was Perfect

No, this is not a misprint. After Ashley died she became perfect … if you don’t believe me just ask her brothers who confronted me a couple of years after her death.  They explained how impossible it had become to live up to their sister’s angelic memories which had become the exclusive focus of my stories about her and how I represented her to the world.  From their perspective, I had lost perspective of who Ashley was.  
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Time and Grief?

If you enjoy dirty looks, a sure way to garner an angry glance or start an argument is to tell a grieving person “time heals all wounds”.  When it comes to the topic of loss, no two words in the English language are used more frequently together in the same sentence than time and grief.
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Grief Triggers

We all have them … That song, that scent, the cereal aisle, that color, that season, that holiday, that flower … that “anything at all” which immediately takes us back to a place of raw grief. The professionals like to call them triggers and tell us these experiences are just a normal part of the grieving process. But, you and I know, because they often come out-of-the-blue and at the most inopportune times, triggers or the anxiety surrounding them are a challenging aspect of managing our ...
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Signs From Our Loved Ones

It took me a few years to come to the party regarding giving validity to signs from those we love who have died. Growing up in conservative Christianity, it was pretty well ingrained in me that to entertain such things was akin to dancing with the devil. Not that the devil and I hadn’t done several tangos over the years and possibly even a slow dance or two. When I would hear people tell of signs, I chalked it up to randomness or fate and their desperation to find any type of connection. I ...
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Guilt and Regret in Grief

In my 16 years writing and speaking on the subject of finding hope and healing after loss, one topic more than any other seems to resonate with grieving people I have met.  Most wrestle at some level with feelings of guilt and regret.  I would be included in that group of people as Ashley’s death left me with many unfinished emotional issues which were holding me back in my grief journey.
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Grief Is Like Shopping at JC Penney’s

Grief is Like Shopping at JC Penney’s – Whoever created their pricing system at Penney’s must be an evil mathematician. So, how is shopping at Penney’s like grief?
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The High Cost of Expectations

There is truth in the adage “expectations are planned disappointments.”  If there is one thing grief has taught me, it is the only thing you can honestly expect is the unexpected.  Most of us understand this, yet we continue to get blindsided by expectations, both negative and positive.  We continue to pay a high price for having expectations.
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“How to be UN-Helpful to a Grieving Person”

The title of this blog is NOT a misprint. Many articles have been written about how to help those going through grief, for some reason there are still a lot of people who don’t get it. I thought it might be fun to write a 10-point-guide for those wanting to be ---- the least helpful, the least supportive and as ineffective as possible to someone going through a loss. I think I covered most of the finer points here, but feel free to add to the list if you feel I have missed something.
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