by Mike Busby
As any reader who reads this probably knows, how one copes and deals with grief and sorrow varies according to the individual. One who is currently coping with grief – or who has done so in the past – may realize that others may share ways by which they have handled grief in hope of helping others. I have experienced grief and sorrow through the death of family and friends since I was a child and particularly beginning in the sixth grade with the death of a close friend I was growing up and in school with. I am often reminded there is no “right or wrong way to grieve”.
Twenty-one years ago my mother died unexpectedly. My father had died after a brief illness when I was much younger. My mother and I were very close. The grief over my mother’s sudden death became very deep and prolonged. Though my faith and having very good support of family and friends certainly helped, I needed another means by which to help with the grief I was experiencing. A good friend suggested biking (cycling), something I really had not done since childhood. At first, I turned my nose up to it! Finally – and to be kind to myself – I bought a bike and began riding, both alone and with friends. In hindsight, I can say it was unexpectedly and appreciably very helpful for me. Now I will candidly say biking may not be a form of dealing with grief for everyone. However, I have and will strongly recommend it for anyone who is experiencing grief to consider.
For me, the benefits of biking were, have been, and continue to be many. When working through grief, biking gives me a means by which to divert my attention in a positive manner and away from persistent thinking of the loved one who had died and the deep sorrow I’m feeling. Other benefits of biking include companionship with and support from others, new friendships, appreciation for others, reduction of stress and anxiety, and the opportunity to communicate one’s feelings to a listening ear. And, biking is a great form of exercise which, of course, also helps one deal with grief. Biking actually became fun, relaxing and enjoyable!
In turn, biking has helped me divert my attention off myself and actually to help others – an effective way of healing after a loss. When one is immersed in someone else’s needs, you can be free of (temporarily at least) or perhaps lessen your own pain.
As a new year begins and sooner than we expect signs of spring will begin appearing, you may want to consider biking (and/or a spin class) as a means by which to cope and work through your grief. I hope and pray biking may be of benefit to others as well. By the way, I still enjoy biking to this very day!
About the Author: Mike Busby was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He attended Schreiner University/Institute in Kerrville, TX, is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, and is a Veteran of the US Navy. Mike has had a career in human resource management and is currently Director of Operations at a youth camp in the Texas Hill country he was previously associated with.
Mike is a graduate of Leadership Kerr County (TX) and served on some committees with the local Chamber. He has been actively involved in church and community activities for over 30 years including board member, coach and referee for local youth soccer and basketball programs; has mentored kids in school, served as a school board member and board president. Currently, Mike serves as an Elder at First Presbyterian, as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children, a “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and as a facilitator with the teens for the Hospice “Bridging the Gap” bereavement program.
Mike’s hobbies include road biking, mountain biking, outdoor photography, hiking, working out, and tennis.