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Riding after losing a friend.

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Mentyl, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. #1 Mentyl, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2015
    Two nights ago, I was riding with a group of friends, all learner riders with me being the most experienced with only 1 year on a bike, when one lost control and unfortunately lost his life in the resulting accident, I witnessed this accident and immediately attempted to help with my first aid training when I realised he had already passed on.

    Group drives and rides are a big part of the culture that we and our other friends are involved in within our community, and his parents have organised a memorial cruise in his honor. My bike was released from police custody today. I have been debating whether or not to ride my bike for the memorial cruise. On one hand it is a show of solidarity for the riders among us and a show of the passion that my friend had, but it also seems like it might be painful for his parents and others among us to see as they all know I was riding with him at the time, and disrespectful considering the cause of his death.

    As experienced riders, I would like to know your opinions on whether I should drive or ride in the cruise, and any tips on getting back on a bike after witnessing such a horrific event would be greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: Sorry about no intro thread, didn't feel right to post a warm hearted intro thread before this.

    • Like Like x 3
  2. #2 Mcsenna, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
    Sorry for your loss and only you can decide the answer. I would suggest that you remove the last sentence of your first paragraph.
  3. Edit is no longer coming up under tools, so if a mod can remove that it would be appreciated. But I'll explain that it is only there to minimise the amount of people having a go at me for "not realising the consequences of our actions", as that has been discussed heavily on a local motorbike group on facebook.
  4. In my opinion if you were not the actual cause of his death, then riding would not be disrespectful.

    However my opinion doesn't count and I suggest you go with what your heart finally tells you to do.

    If there is any doubt, maybe if you can, have a word to the parents and tell them you'd like to sow your respects by participating, but let them know you won't if they have concerns.

    The only tip for getting back on the bike is don't do it until you feel it is right and then take it gently and ease back into it. And if you are psychologically affected, don't try to cope alone, seek counselling.

    My sympathies.
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  5. Thank you both for your opinions and support.

    Also, Mcsenna, I am unfamiliar with the site and couldn't find any way to send you a private message clarifying my previous statement. There was a pronoun error. I was not involved in the cause of the event, I was riding behind. The only person involved in the cause was the unfortunate friend who lost his life.
  6. #6 Oldmaid, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    Please go to your GP ASAP and get a referral now to have a quiet chat with a psychologist. Really...please don't wait until maybe you realise you aren't handling things. You may only need to go once and you will have someone uninvolved to help you gain the skills to be rational and resilient when you might need it, plus you will learn how to have something in reserve for the bad times. Also you can go back to talk over different things as you grieve and come to terms with what happened.
    Do you feel up to riding in the memorial cruise? That is important. What you want to do.
    As GreyBM said if you know his parents tell them how you are feeling about the memorial.
    What about being a pillion for the ride??
    Slow steps with getting back into riding...you are the only one who can judge when is right for you.

    Take care of yourself. Remember also to be kind to yourself and that you need to heal also-you have been hurt in this dreadful accident as well. Just mightn't be visible to others...
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  7. It's really a personal choice, and a really personal choice.

    My thought, get out there and ride. We ride because we love it, and to celebrate living.
    Not to ride would go against why we ride.
    From a surfers perspective, if a fellow surfer was taken by a shark, all the surfers get together and have a memorial ( or spread their ashes ) out on the water beyond the break, because that's what they loved, and it's where they wanted to be.
    I hope it helps.
    My condolences, take it easy.
  8. I agree with the general consensus of (a) are you ready to ride after the incident and (b) do you think riding would be a way to honour your friend and his passion for riding.

    Personally I think riding would be a great way to represent your friend and what he loved doing.

    Having said that, this will be a very emotional event. Would this also make riding difficult given the circumstances. Would you feel comfortable riding in this?

    My condolences,
  9. I'd ride with you mate!
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  10. Firstly, My condolences on your loss.

    As his parents have organised the cruise, I don't think it would be any disrespect for you to participate, I highly doubt they would feel you shouldn't take part.
    The only way to find out would be to speak with them expressing your concerns, as the others here have already mentioned and perhaps getting their blessings to join the cruise.

    Also, as others have said, only you will know if you're right to ride, if you're doubting yourself then perhaps you're betting joining in another way, perhaps as a pillion, perhaps organising/ maintaining a section of it.

    Speaking to a professional about this is a good idea, you may be a tough cookie and think you'll be OK on your own, I thought I was, but it can be the smallest or oddest thing that brings shit down..

    There's more that could be said on each point here, but I'm sure someone else can say it better than I could.

    Peace and Regards,
    • Like Like x 1
  11. No problem, there isn't a rule that you can't say what you said, it is in your own interest to not say it on a public forum that's all.
    On the issue of conversations, there are a number of site features which only become available after a qualifying number of posts. When you get back on the bike let us know, chances are you'll find some good support here on Netrider.
  12. Personally I would ride. You want to say goodbye to your friend in a way that is a demonstration of your shared experience and passion. I understand that it is a difficult time for you and the decision has to be what your heart dictates.

    Commiserations on your loss. Seek some professional counseling, it is something you shouldn't have to deal with alone. My best wishes to you, his family and the community.
  13. It's always hard loosing mates.

    They always deserve a good send off, whatever that maybe. I would ride. I would regret it if I didn't.

    Listen to the advice of previous posters and find somebody to talk to.
  14. Sorry to read fo your loss.

    I aggree, if your friends parents have orginised this ride, then I would suspect they are looking at as a show of respect and solidarity.
    I lost one of my best friends three weeks ago in an MVA, and a good number of his friends rode to the funeral. Was a fitting tribute to a couple who loved nothing better than to ride together,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    You are the only one who can make the ultimate decission here, good luck for your future.
  15. So sorry for your loss.
    Agree with all of the above. Only you can choose.......
  16. I have lost many of my good riding friends over the years,
    We always went to the Service and Funerals on our bikes,
    It was to show solidarity and compassion to our lost friend,
    He or she died doing something they loved,
    We were always appreciated turning up on the bikes by Wives, Partners, Parents and their Kids,
    There was always a long mention of the bikes and associated memorabilia at the Services,
    And the bonds of biker friendships that were obvious to everyone at the Service,
    It is a way of life, Longevity is not guaranteed,
    How you personally deal with it, Thats can be a problem, Counselling does help,
    I feel for you. It isnt easy to lose someone, Close or not, It does hit home,
    Ride your bike if you can, Leave it home if you cant, Just dont push it,
    Dont ride stressed out, That will get you into strife you dont need,
    You can always go pillion with one of your friends,
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  17. Thank you all for the support and encouragement. I have sought professional counselling and am doing my best to get my bike back on the road prior to the cruise this Saturday.
    • Like Like x 7
  18. Please accept my condolences!

    I do feel sorry and as others have said, look after yourself at this stage. If you're not ready to ride yet, that is ok.

    Give it some time and you'll get through this. Motorbikes and riding has this ability to soothe a lot of pain and anguish (IMO) so just give it some time.

    You will know when you're ready to get back on the saddle.
  19. It is absolutely 100% up to you. No one else can tell what to do or what not to do.

    My only suggestion would be to get back on bike as soon as you can. If you haven't managed a decent ride before the memorial, take the car.
  20. So very glad that you took that really hard, first step...
    Don't push yourself too hard to do things ...:happy: