Everyone says "goodbye" in different ways. Some choose to be alone with their thoughts, some need the comfort of others. Goodbyes have never been easy for me. Throughout my life I have repetitively chosen to handle it in two ways. The first way is to grasp, the second way is to put my blinders on and act like nothing is going on even though something is always lurking in the back of my mind--not unlike stuffing an over sized sleeping bag into a too small stuff sack, something will always end up oozing out.
Since I don't like showing my emotions around others, I will rarely choose to grasp. This behavior was shown much more in my youth, and only when I'm caught off guard will it creep up as an adult. Now, when loved ones move away or die, I often put my head down and force myself to act logically. The thing is, the emotions are still there, no matter how much I try to think them away or try to ride away from them on my bike (riding away from them is usually my chosen preference).
Today, after loosing yet another friend to lung cancer--the fourth in two years--I have already planned on riding away my sadness. Funny how this has now become a very conscious decision, or maybe its not so funny after all. I will ride both alone and with friends. I will ride out to see new baby goats--something which helped me get through another death last year (a part of me wonders if the goats were born now to help me since they were a total "oops" and are rarely born in the fall). I will ride at night because it's soothing, and I will drink beer and eat candy to celebrate living with friends.
I don't really know what to do or say to show others who were close to this person that I care. I feel bad I don't have the strength to properly mourn the loss with them--I'm just not good at it. The only things I could possibly do well are to think of our friend as I ride past prairies full of oaks and sandhill cranes, make lentil soup and share it with others and greet and pet every standard poodle I see along the way. My love goes out to you sweet woman, you will always be an inspiration.