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Cycling as a way to cope with a bereavement....

miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
edited December 2012 in The hub
Hello :D

Sadly my Mum passed away on Saturday. I've got through the last few days but am finding the whole experience quite claustrophic and just feel that I need to a) get away from it all, and b) feel something other than this. Am trying to tee up as much biking as possible over the next few weeks to help achieve this but I wondered if anyone else had used biking to cope with something like this?

I am riding with friends as I realise it's probably not the time to go toodling off on my own, but am also slightly concerned that I might not have the concentration for the more techy bits. Having said that. it would be lovely to concentrate on *just* getting over a rock garden or something (but preferably not if i'm going to censored -up and come off on it :wink: ).

Anyway, sorry for the depressing subject but I just wondered if anyone else had jumped on their bike to get their head around something like utterly shitty like this. And did it help?

Cheers for any thoughts.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
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Posts

  • KJAKJA Posts: 259
    Very sorry to hear about your loss, you have my sincere condolences. I think that any exercise is a great way to cope with not just bereavements but all of life's stresses and strains. I'm a Baptist Minister and so deal almost daily with the censored that life throws at people. I wouldn't be able to stay sane if it wasn't for being able to get out into the countryside and getting away form it all. Whilst I enjoy running and walking, there's something about being on the bike which gives a far greater sense of freedom. Perhaps it's about being able to travel so far away under my own steam. Also there are times when you can think of nothing but the ride, when you hit technical sections for example, and your brain is forced to stop dwelling on issues and focus on the task in hand. I'll often be very stressed or upset about an issue, and then after a coupla hours on the bike I will have calmed down, without having consciously thought about it. I don't have that many friends who ride (I do have friends honest) so tend to go out by myself, but as I spend a lot of time with other people I find it quite nice to be alone.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Sorry to hear of your loss, its always a tough time. I have an incredibly stressful job as I run a medium sized business, and so have responsibility not just for myself, but also for the welfare of all my people, keeping the bills paid etc. I find riding has been my saviour over the years, and people always comment on how relaxed I am in the face of uncertainty and issues that threaten to destroy our business overnight.

    Cycling for me is the best way to relieve stress and get away from your worries, and I am sure it applies for bereavement too. Its nailing that rock garden that is so completely absorbing, it makes it hard to think of anything else. By giving those parts of your brain that can spend time playing on your emotions and creating concern for you a couple of hours off is like pressing the reset button for me. It allows me to just be on my bike, out in the open and without the ability to dwell on issues. I commute to work on my bike for exactly that reason; 30 mins in the car is 30 mins thinking about the day ahead, while getting annoyed by other drivers, 45 mins on the bike is just that. 45 mins on the bike.

    I always tell anyone who cares to listen that having a bike is the best way to stay sane. It also helps that cycling is one of the best sports for long term hormonal balance, as its a prolonged activity that releases endorphines on a more consistent basis, which make you happy, whereas going to the gym or other intensive activities tend to create spikes, which give highs and lows.

    Don't worry about whether you are 'competent' to be on a bike right now. You are, as soon as you're back in the saddle on your own, it will all just click again.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thank guys :D

    That was my concern benpinnick that I would attempt something tricky and mess it up due to my mind being elsewhere.... I am hoping that the opposite is true - I want to stop all the horrible thoughts and just think about the trail ahead!

    I'm also quite looking forward to working up an appetite and actually sleeping for a change!

    Out riding tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday (night off on Friday to perve over Daniel Craig in Skyfall 8) ) so hopefully that'll do the trick!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Last year my mother died, prior to this my daughter had been training for a 50 mile charity ride , I wanted to ride with her as support & puncture repairer. 36 hrs before the event mam died after a very stressful week & riding a bike was not something I wanted to do, but I did it & it was really hard. Even now I mull events over & it's not very pleasant, I think the only "cure" is a very long time & then hopefully you may only remember the happier times , I would like to offer you a panacea but perhaps only time can do that.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Sad news, but pretty much what Ben said. I always feel better after a bit of a ride, combination of nice surroundings, taking my mind off things, and peace and quiet.
    But a bit of perving never did anyone any harm neither.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • DF33DF33 Posts: 732
    it'll definately help with appetite and sleep. Won't be a cure all but fresh air, out of the house, exercise, caff stop etc will help to relax you.

    Try to remember your not on your own. Everyone on the planet goes through the pain of losing their parents, it's part of life. I know it's easy to say that and it sounds so simple but if you can rationalise the normality of them eventually reaching the end of their lives before you (just as they went through their parents doing the same) and everyone else having to cope and move forward after going through the same, it somehow gives you the hope you need when it's all so raw that you will eventually return to a normal life and enjoy life again.

    Enjoy the bike and enjoy the film.
    Peter
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thanks, yes, for various reasons I can kind of get my head around it. If only that made it less [email protected]!! :?

    At least trying to ride through thick mud / wet sand will provide an alternative vent for my frustrations!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    You could always aim at the bunnies/squirrels to vent.
    I try but they are better/faster/stronger than me so I've never got one.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Well, last nights bike ride did really help actually. I smiled the whole ride even as I trudged through mud - it was just nice to be out in the open and not to have the awful squashed feeling for a few hours :D

    So, back out on the bike tonight again then :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Just remember going riding is a break, not an alternative to doing whats needed. Unfortunately losing a relative also involves a lot of family paperwork and jobs that need doing... not pleasant but needed, and your other family members will need your support too. Don't let cycling get in the way of the not so good stuff. Its all about balance.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Noted. But i'm still going to take the smiles when I can get them :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Lots of people I know use exercise as their way to clear their mind - I've never tried it for handling anything as serious as this, but it always makes me feel better. Keep at it and it will be one of the things that helps you through
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • hi

    im sorry for your loss

    i know how it fells and i know the place you in right now as i lost my mum to cancer in march.

    i too did a lot of biking just to get away and clear my head. you may think im crazy but i did do a lot of talking to my mum out louad when i was on my bike, this helped me sort things out in my head.

    at the moment im trying to get fitter and a bit more skilled as i want to try and raise come money for the hospital were she passed away.

    you will of probley been told this already but in time things will feel better, you in yourself will feel better, in time.

    keep smileing friend
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thanks winter zombie and i'm sorry to hear about your Mum too.

    I am kind-of getting my head around what's happened but I really didn't expect it to HURT so much - it's a real, physical pain. I think that's why it's nice to be out on the bike as it takes this away for a bit (or at least distracts you from it with the usual bike-related-pain of aching legs etc).

    I really like your idea of raising money for your Mum's hospital. My Mum had been treated at the same hospital for 5 years so I might look into some fundraising for the chemo unit :D

    Take care :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • miss notax wrote:
    Thanks winter zombie and i'm sorry to hear about your Mum too.

    I am kind-of getting my head around what's happened but I really didn't expect it to HURT so much - it's a real, physical pain. I think that's why it's nice to be out on the bike as it takes this away for a bit (or at least distracts you from it with the usual bike-related-pain of aching legs etc).

    I really like your idea of raising money for your Mum's hospital. My Mum had been treated at the same hospital for 5 years so I might look into some fundraising for the chemo unit :D

    Take care :D


    hi

    if you can please keep me in mind if/when you do any fundraising. even if were not near each other we may be able to help each other with advise and to promote our planed rides. it would be nice to stay intouch :)
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,222
    Hi, Firstly, very sorry for your loss

    For the last few years I ve been struggling with some psych issues (eating disorders and the like). I found that cycling was invaluable for just getting away from it all. Twice a week for 2-3 hours (and usually in the evening afterwards) I was nt thinking about dark stuff. The technicality of the ride focuses the mind, the exercise releases the endorphins and the excitement makes you feel good. Even an easy fire road climb (or road ride) lets you be alone with your thoughts a bit and usually the time off from all the emotion has given you enough of a break to start thinking about things rationally or lets you start again. For me it was time away from the thoughts, the lonlieness and the censored job and I also came out of it with a very close friend who I was Best Man for at his wedding.

    It's no substitute for sorting the underlying problems out, or in your case grieving properly, but when you want a break from the emotion, I don't think it can be bettered!

    Hope you feel better soon!

    DaveK
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,708
    benpinnick wrote:
    Just remember going riding is a break, not an alternative to doing whats needed. Unfortunately losing a relative also involves a lot of family paperwork and jobs that need doing... not pleasant but needed, and your other family members will need your support too. Don't let cycling get in the way of the not so good stuff. Its all about balance.

    ^ This.
    I lost my Mum at 10 yrs... Took 30 more to understand my feelings and deal with the grief! The last ten years, since realising the grief issue have been fantastic.
    Cycling is great, talking to your Mum is great, too, but after you've showered, you still need to find time to grieve and deal with the crushing pain you now feel.
    Your pain will ease in time, but don't run away from it, 'cos it won't go of it's own accord.
    Sorry to be the party pooper, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
    Take care, I hope you start healing soon.
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    You are having a sh1tty year all in all Miss N. I don't know about cycling as a way to deal with grief. All I know is that cycling and skiing are ways to remove myself from the world.

    Use them but the world will be there when you come back waiting for you to deal with it. You may just be better equipped for the fight.

    Best of luck.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    You are having a sh1tty year all in all Miss N.

    Indeed :(

    Thanks for all of the comments. I do understand what people are saying about grieving properly. Once all the important bits are taken care of though, it really comes down to either sitting at home feeling miserable, or doing something (ie going for a bike ride) in an attempt to feel slightly less miserable :?

    Anyway, all the good wishes are much appreciated :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • My story is tat I lost my dad on my birthday 7 years ago and it hit me really hard. I didn't have a release and 'distracted' myself for a few years with camper vans , scooters, drinking and other thins that really didn't help. I suffered a building clinical depression ending with being physically pulled from a high speed train line by a total stranger. Bad times.

    Just over a year go I 'found ' cycling which totally changed and turned my life round . I am now 2 1/2 stones lighter, off anti depressants and drink and feel in control of myself for the first time in years. As people have said cycling is so good for you in many ways.

    Based upon my own experiences I'd say enjoy your cycling, Set yourself some definite objectives to achieve and use the thinking time on your bike to feel the positives of your person you've lost...... Remember the pleasures and happiness.

    It's such a blessing that you have cycling immediately now to help...... Make the most of life ..... X
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Hello :D

    Well, the funeral was a few weeks ago and i'm still trying to keep smiling!

    It's a mix of good days and bad days at the moment.... I am finding it tricky though - especially being newly on my own and living in a new area! I have lots of good friends, but i'm finding the fact that everythng has changed a bit 'challenging'. I'm usually very good at rationalising stuff but the last week or so I have had good day and bad days. On the bad days I know I need to snap out of it but am finding it very exhausting telling myself this! I know I could phone a friend (so to speak!) but a lot of my girlfriends have young families and I honestly don't want to be calling them at 2am. A lot of the time I don't know what I want to say anyway :roll:

    Deep down I know this is all normal but it still feels like I am losing my marbles. One of my work colleagues just bought in their new baby and I had to leave the room, holding back the tears. It is my lasting regret that Mum never got to be a Granny - she would have loved that. It just seems to be normal ok days with the odd weird 'emotional' day thrown in with no logical cause....

    Did a big Wiggle bike event on Sunday which was fab - a normal good day - so I know this isn't forever and it will get better blah blah.

    Anyway, not sure why i'm telling a faceless computer screen all of this but if anyone wants to have a go at telling me i'm not losing my marbles or cheering me up, go ahead!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Nope.... you're not losing your marbles....


    its perfectly normal........

    The bad days will get less in time .....

    The good days will get more in time .......

    Telling a 'faceless computer screen is actually a GOOD thing to do...... you have all these thoughts and feeling bouncing around your head..... putting them on a screen helps get them OUT of your head!....

    Your a logical person clearly by your rational descriptions.... emotions are not always so rational or logical... so how will any of us truly understand them!?? So accept that... and maximise the good days .... accept the bad....

    Totally normal


    Big Hugs
    X
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thank you :D

    It does help to know i'm not going loopy! It also helped to see one of my buddies go sailing over the handlebars into a gloopy bog on last nights bike ride - who can feel glum when you have comedy genius like that unfolding in front of you :wink:

    As you say, bring on the 'good days'!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • hi

    i know how you feels

    the good days and the bad days. its been 8 months now since i lost my mum

    she was my best friend and somebody i could always turn to, but the bad days are starting to get less and less

    i still talk to her like she is next to me, but to me she still is and always will be with me. but thats what i belive in

    you will start to feel better in time. if im not on my bike im washing it or tinkering with it, or watching a dvd just doing something to keep me going. so your not on your own friend :)
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thanks :D

    It's good to know i'm not the only one going through this!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    <advertising competitor warning>

    There's a very good article in this month's Singletrack mag, more about depression and cycling than mourning but obviously strong parallels. You might find it worth a read.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thanks - will have a look at that :D

    It's now about 7 weeks since Mum died and I have to say that cycling has without doubt kept me sane. Yes, I still have days when I can't believe what's happened and it suddenly hits me all over again, but it has been absolutely brilliant to just toodle off on my bike and have a laugh with my friends. Guaranteed to put a smile on my face :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • you will always miss her just like i miss my mum
    but when you remember the good time and how you were together, you know she would be smiling and be happy for you, on your bike enjoying yourself and keeping fit & active. you make her proud
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Thanks :D Been a sh!t few days not helped by my Dad phoning up in tears trying to do the Christmas shopping by himself - tried to make a joke saying that Xmas shopping is enough to traumatise the best of us but not sure my comedy genius is sufficient :(

    I usually love Christmas but it's just so bloody hard being the 'expected' constantly cheerful domestic goddess with glass of fizz in hand and plate of mince pies when all I want to do is tell people to p!ss off and leave me alone :shock: :lol: Not all the time I hasten to add - i'm very unpredictable at the moment :wink:

    For anyone that's vaguely interested, I am formulating a half-baked idea to raise money for Macmillan next year, possibly by subjecting myself to the Mountain Mayhem or similar as a solo rider..... Or maybe as a team if anyone else would be interested? Feel I need to do something practical to raise some cash and make a difference :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    miss notax wrote:
    Thanks :D Been a sh!t few days not helped by my Dad phoning up in tears trying to do the Christmas shopping by himself - tried to make a joke saying that Xmas shopping is enough to traumatise the best of us but not sure my comedy genius is sufficient :(

    I usually love Christmas but it's just so bloody hard being the 'expected' constantly cheerful domestic goddess with glass of fizz in hand and plate of mince pies when all I want to do is tell people to p!ss off and leave me alone :shock: :lol: Not all the time I hasten to add - i'm very unpredictable at the moment :wink:

    For anyone that's vaguely interested, I am formulating a half-baked idea to raise money for Macmillan next year, possibly by subjecting myself to the Mountain Mayhem or similar as a solo rider..... Or maybe as a team if anyone else would be interested? Feel I need to do something practical to raise some cash and make a difference :D

    Having done the Kaiser challenge last year its amazing the power of good doing something for charity achieves. I know theres some of us in the Crudcatcher looking into doing the Sarn Helen Route (Conwy to Swansea off road in 5 days) next September so if mountain mayhem wasn't an option you'd be welcome to join us on that and give the ride a bit more purpose
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
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