Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This is going to be difficult.

I have been wanting to, yet, at a loss to express myself as of late.  Lots of things have happened in one month, and as I usually love to sit down and write an update of funny things, challenging things, things that make you think, but these last two weeks have swept the rug right from under my feet.

I have had so many thoughts this past week and I continuously lost them in a disorganized and desperate attempt to keep things in order.  Imagine watching just one leaf twirl in a gust of leaves.  Try to follow that leaf all the way to the end of it's journey.  You can't.  I couldn't follow one single thought to the end of it's path either.  

I lost a close friend last week.  He died.  It's hard to even type the letters that form that word.  I have not been able to talk about it openly until now.  I haven't even been able to talk to some of my closest friends about it.  Somehow writing this on my computer is easier.  If I cry, it is to my computer.  It doesn't try to comfort me, it just lets me be.  I am sure you know the feeling of being sad, and having a kind person lend a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic face, soothing words…I just couldn't take anymore waves of sadness that come with the empathy of others.  I am still sad.  But I also have to find a way to make this real and honest, and not constantly struggle with something I didn't want to happen.

I can't yet write about him, or what I remember, or who this person really was.  I am not able to yet, I am still too sad.  It is nice to know that I am not alone though, in my love and fond memories of this person, in fact it really has been comforting to read an out-pouring of warm messages for him.  However obscure, the happiest I had been since he has died, was that I found out he was an organ donor, and saved 6 people's lives.  If he had a heart to give, whoever got his heart is a lucky soul, because that was one large and loving heart.

I will miss his celebration of life, which will be held at home, the day before I am racing at Mt Tremblant.  Going to a remembrance ceremony would be hard, but I think it would also help, bring back smiles that used to come so easily and have felt a bit pained, as of late.  I will have to find my own way, and the first step of that dawned on me a few days back, and it made me happy in what seemed like an absolute drought on happiness.  I will have him with me, as I spend the quiet moments that come before races, and he will tell me to kick some serious ass and then for the love of god, have a beer to celebrate.  I think I can manage that.  I needed to do something else, as well.

I am naming my bike, "Gabe".

I've never named a bike, I know other people do.  I've never felt an attachment that way.  But for me, this makes my heart warm.  And if someone walks away with my bike or it gets lost on this flight I'm on to Montreal, then my next bike will be named "Gabe" too.  Gabe will always be my bike.

I am happy on my bike.  I have crashed on my bike.  I have gotten dirty trying to fix my bike.  I have kicked my bike.  My bike has made me happy and has made me sad.  My bike can race or it can cruise.  My bike takes me where I want to go or it gets me lost.  I crawl up mountains with my bike and I fly down the other side.  I have weathered storms with my bike.  I am never far from my bike. 

Gabe will always be my bike.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds as though so many people have gained and will live and live better lives thanks to your friend Gabe. I wish more people would give one last gift to SO many in need. He sounds like he was a very thoughtful person. Let's go to the pool and your tears will blend in with the water. Sending you some hugs!

  2. So tough Gillian. Gabe is your angel now, protecting you on your bike. I know how this feels. I'm inspired to name my bike: Jen.
    Have an awesome race in Tremblant!

  3. I am sorry for your loss! Time will help to ease the shock of the loss and you will be able to talk about it to friends and family, but (I am not eloquent with words) your friend left a mark on your heart and life that is meant to be there. In a way, they will continue to live on through that impression they made in your life and the lives of their friends and family. I hope that helps a little.