A national speaker on grief will be in College Station on Monday to give a free public presentation on finding hope in the face of loss.

Alan Pedersen, a songwriter and former radio reporter, dedicated his life to helping people suffering from loss after his teenage daughter was killed in a car crash in 2001. He has spent 15 years hosting workshops, writing articles and composing songs about grief.

According to a press release from the nonprofit Mending Hearts Grief Center, which is sponsoring his visit to College Station, Pedersen has consulted professional psychologists in creating presentations for his workshops, while integrating his own experience into his talks. Hawkins noted that Pederson has planned to spend the last 30 minutes of Monday’s event speaking directly with attendees.

From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, he will speak and perform music at the fellowship hall of Christ United Methodist Church on Texas 6 in College Station.

Mending Hearts Grief Center Children’s Director Kathe Hawkins said the free presentation will be geared toward adults and teenagers. Free child care will be provided at the church. Hawkins also pointed out that the event will be compatible for both people of faith and the non-religious alike.

“Grief is one of those things that has no rules to it, so we just meet you where you’re at,” she said.

The Mending Hearts Grief Center was started in College Station in 2014 and continues to offer free services to those in need of comfort.

“Mending Hearts is a nonprofit going on five years now, and we started out [as a service] for children who have endured a grieving experience,” Hawkins said. “Then we just kind of morphed into having more programs. We have a divorce care program, a program called ‘Until We Meet Again’ for widows and widowers, and a program for the families of loved ones suffering Alzheimer’s.”

Some of the groups meet at least once a week, while other meet twice per month. One to two times each year the nonprofit will sponsor a lecture or workshop given by figures such as Pedersen, in addition to the more intimate support group meetings.

For more information, visit www.mendingheartsgriefcenter.org.

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