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Old 04-16-2015   #11
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
One thing is that there is no formula. I have felt that lost sensation before, what to do, how to act. Give yourself plenty of freedom and grace, and also those that are grieving along with you. Everyone has highs and lows in the grieving process, many times we say things we wouldn't normally say, or do things we wouldn't normally do. Allow yourself to express what you need to express, and allow others to as well. I can't really make anything easier for that, just know many have gone through what you are going through, and take solace in that.
I am sorry you lost a friend, it is a painful experience. I lost a 20 year old friend to cancer, a cousin to a car crash, and my Grandpa all in the past few years. It still hurts, I still think of them. It will happen again, it will happen to me. We all take precautions, we know what we are up against, I'd much rather die in the water with my PFD on than at 2 am on a lonely road. I will continue to paddle, and I will do my best to be safe, but the river may take me.
Sorry again, friend.

Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 04-16-2015   #12
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
Wow...Jill, like you I am also 58 years old, but I didn't start until I turned 50. I called this my mid life crisis sport. I have had a couple of close calls and sustained a broken hand and an Avulsion Fracture of Ischial Tuberosity during a very bad swim last year. It was a wake up call for sure. After almost a year of not being able to sit in a boat, I paddle only larger volume rivers and stay away from hard creeks. After the loss of my sweet dear friend, it will make me even more cautious for sure, if it ever feels right to paddle again.

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Old 04-16-2015   #13
OTR, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 224
My toughest river loss was my creeking mentor in 2010. He was also a pillar in the local boating community and someone designed this sticker:

Lots of New England boaters and former New England boaters (myself included) rock this on their boats in order to stay close to Jim on every run they do. It is still difficult to process this loss at times. But I feel good energy and get pumped to "send it" every time I look at his silhouette on my stern, especially before peeling out into a big drop.
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Old 04-16-2015   #14
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Sorry for your loss, Brenda. I've lost too many people on and off the rio. Feel deeply and let Mother Nature hold you.
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Old 05-02-2015   #15
canon city, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 46
Although I don't have advice on how to handle this, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss and for your friend.

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