Page 5 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 5

© Halfpoint/fotolia.comand invitations started coming in to travel and play music for grief groups, I hesitated, said no, and then hit the road for ten
years playing music and sharing my grief journey in more than 1,000 cities including 300 Chapters of TCF.
Over the years, I have had the honor of hearing the stories, shaking the hands, hugging the necks and walking this journey
with tens of thousands of Compassionate Friends. Each one of them left an impression on my soul and has been a driving
force in me wanting to touch as many hurting people as I possibly can. I have been given the gift of hope by all who have
shared in my pain and in my healing. My deepest gratitude is to all who have shared your beautiful children, grandchildren
and siblings with me. You have blessed my life.
It was a difficult decision to leave the position of Executive Director. So many great memories, an incredible staff, and such
wonderful growth in the numbers of people we are reaching. But, it is my time to go back to the place where the biggest
part of my heart remains…on the road. I look forward to visiting hundreds of Chapters over the coming years as I continue
speaking, writing and performing music, and conducting workshops for organizations large and small.
As I hand the reigns to our next executive director, I want to thank all those I have served with on the Board of Directors,
our hardworking and dedicated staff who believe in our mission so deeply, our incredible partners in media at Open to
Hope, and all of our donors and volunteers who give so generously. The Compassionate Friends is truly a family. I look
forward to being a part of and continuing to serve this beautiful family for as long as I am able.

Blessings, and thanks for the honor of serving as your Executive Director,


Alan Pedersen, TCF Executive Director

    How I Found Hope ...

              Two weeks after our beautiful nineteen year-old daughter, Tiffanie, died of
              bacterial meningitis, my wife, Kathy, and I, were ushered into a small room
              feeling devastated, desperate, and totally hopeless.  Ten women and three men
              welcomed us with kind, sympathetic words and caring hugs, as we formed a
              circle for the chapter’s monthly Compassionate Friends meeting.  Resisting our
              instincts to quietly leave, we listened as the group shared heartfelt experiences
              about their children’s’ lives and deaths and the impact on them and their
              families.  Our new “compassionate friends” family taught us that living a
              productive life was still possible after losing a child and TCF would ensure we
              never had to walk our grief journey alone.  

                                                                         Chuck Collins, TCF-Fairfax Chapter/VA

                                                                                                                 We Need Not Walk Alone|5
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