Jessica: Using our Bikes to Release Some of the Grief

Cheri Felix

I have a special spot where some of my mom’s ashes are. It just happens to be at the top of a steep hill or at the beginning of a sweet downhill. It all depends on how you look at it. Either way, I put them out there because I knew that for the rest of my upright life I would visit that spot time and time again. When my mom died I used my body to release the grief. I hiked, I did yoga and I rode my bike. A lot. One of my favorite sad days was with M. We rode and I talked and we cried. I shared every last detail of my mother’s last breath. It was very healing.

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Today I feel sadness and grief and anger and I imagine judging from Facebook that I’m not the only one. It’s been a tough week and it was an even harder Friday. Knowing that someone took a child and killed them is more than many of us can bear. When I was a kid, my sister’s best friend was abducted from her house. I can remember walking around the neighborhood with her picture looking for her. Sure that she would be home by dinner. Days and weeks passed until her bones were found by a river bed. Bad things happened even when we were kids.

I woke up this morning and I thought, “I’ve got to get on my bike. I’ve got to get out and move my body and let this grief move out rather than settle in my bones.” I believe that grief can get stuck. Almost like it looks like for an exit and you have to show it the way. So as I was riding my bike I realized that I was feeling better and riding down the sweet downhill and all the way up the steep uphill and by mother’s ashes made me lighter.

Riding my bikes doesn’t bring a little girl back. And it doesn’t right all the wrongs in the world. But it lets some of the anger out. It shows some of the grief the exit sign. And doesn’t that in a way make the world a bit better of a place? I mean the event that makes us sad doesn’t dissipate, just a bit of the sadness perhaps. I’m sorry to say this won’t be the last absolutely crappy thing to happen. This won’t be the last tragedy. Or the last child to go missing. I am so sorry to say. As you ponder the world and how to explain it to your children perhaps go for a ride. And after that maybe take your kids for a ride.

Over and out.

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