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‘Angels’ comfort bereaved parents

The Santa Clarita chapter of The Compassionate Friends will host Alan Pedersen

Posted: August 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Alice Renolds, co-leader of Santa Clarita’s chapter of The Compassionate Friends, said Alan Pedersen will bring his Angels Across the USA Tour 2012 to the Santa Clarita Valley. The event begins tonight at 7 at Real Life Church in Valencia and is free to the public.

The Compassionate Friends chapter has been active in the SCV for more than a decade, Renolds said. The organization is a self-help support group for parents who have lost a child.

Renolds lost two sons, Timothy and Daniel Renolds, in a Feb. 17, 2000 car accident in Canyon Country that also claimed the lives of Nicki Ianozzi, a friend of the brothers and Rodney Adams, 45, a motorist also involved in the collision. The driver, Marcus Lellan, was a friend of the brothers and served time in prison for the accident. Tim was a high school senior and his brother Danny was 15.

Renolds said The Compassionate Friends group supports parents of children who die at any age, but also siblings and grandparents who have lost grandchildren.

Pedersen’s only daughter, Ashley, was also killed in an automobile accident in Colorado in 2001.

His response to her death was to express his grief through music. His work is popular with bereaved people around the world and is used at hundreds of candle lighting services, balloon and butterfly releases, and by hundreds of professionals and organizations as a healing tool for the bereaved.

The public is invited to attend the program which Pedersen characterized as a “celebration” of the lives of the children who have died.

“We try to celebrate the lives of our children,” Pedersen said. “We talk about the loss, but we celebrate that our children lived. People get a measure of healing and hope from the message.”

The evening includes humor and straight-from-the-heart talk wrapped around “powerful songs about love and loss,” Renolds said. However, the program is not appropriate for young children, she said.

The Santa Clarita chapter of The Compassionate Friends will host Alan Pedersen in his Angels Across America Tour 2012, 7 p.m. at Real Life Church, 23841 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia. Free.


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