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Grieving as a Community: Goodbye, Dan Wheldon

This short piece was written yesterday.  Today, I am still in shock and my heart is still heavy over the loss of Dan Wheldon.  May he rest in peace.

Credit: IZOD Indycar Series Media Site


Days like today are the worst.  The day after.  When we’re still mourning, still grieving, still trying to understand, trying to process what we’ve witnessed.  It’s like being in a fog.  What do we do?  What do we say?  Where do we go from here?


The answers are out there, of course.  Plain as the noses on our faces.  But, right now, the pain is still too raw.  The loss is still too present, too heavy.  So, today we let ourselves simply feel.  The anger, the hurt, the sadness, even the numbness that comes with loss.  Yes, in the days to come the right questions with be asked and the right answers will be found.  But not today.


A part of who we are is gone.  Taken from us in a way that many of us witnessed and none of us will ever forget.  Gone too soon, lost to us forever.  We are left, once again, trying to find our way as a community.


People outside of racing may not understand and that’s okay.  The sense of family that the racing community has always had isn’t easy to grasp if you’re not a part of it.  From the outside, it surely looks strange that so many are mourning the loss of someone we didn’t know.


What they don’t see, that we do, is the loss of a brother.  We didn’t have to know him personally to feel the loss of him deeply.  Because he was one of us.  Racing wasn’t just what he did, it was a part of who he was.  And that part of him, that part of us, is what ultimately took him.


So those outside of racing don’t have to understand.  We do.  We mourn as a community and we will, over time, heal as one.


Our thoughts are with Susie, Sebastian, Oliver, and all of Dan Wheldon’s family.  In the days to come, we will show them just how much he meant to the racing world.  We will mourn his loss and celebrate his vibrant life.  And we will hold each other up as we work our way through the pain and sorrow.


He will never be forgotten.


Goodbye, Dan.


Credit: IZOD Indycar Series Media Site

Category: Indy Car - IRL