Words: Tucker Andrews
On June 30, a group of Air-blasters met up at Mt. Hood to celebrate the Life of Ben Lynch. Hood is good. It's always good to go snowboarding with your friends in the middle of summer. And we did it in true Ben Lynch fashion. Buckskins (Coors original) and party-boarding. He would have been damn proud. I know it took a lot of strength for everyone involved to show up that day. It was hard, but so needed.
Being in the same proximity of some of Ben's closest shred friends felt really good. The hardest part about the whole day was that I half expected Ben to just show up at some point. His friends and family were doing his favorite thing, and he was nowhere in sight. Reality hits hard. Ben is gone. But the people and the things that remind us of him are not. So it is just a clear message that you have to hold the ones you got extra tight. To say I didn’t see Ben that day didn’t mean he wasn’t there. His energy was all over the mountain. You couldn’t miss it.
Cynthia (Ben's mother) rallied from California to make some turns for the first time in two years. Before we hit the snow, Cynthia put some of Ben's ashes in some bubbles so she could make sure a little bit of Ben would always be a part of Mt. Hood. While wearing one of Ben's old Airblaster jackets, Cynthia blew bubbles and slashed slush in the name of her son. She was ripping. It was a powerful sight to see. Mamma Lynch is one of the strongest women I have ever met in my life.
After the boarding ceased, the crew wrung their socks out in the lot and took in the beauty of Mt. Hood and shared stories of times spent with Ben. It was a peaceful scene. We continued the gathering down at Timothy Lake where Dirks had locked down an epic camp spot for us all to rejoin and continue the celebration. We hunkered around the fire and kept the stories flowing into the night.
Ben Lynch was an inspiration to anyone who got to spend time with him. He was downright hilarious and brightened up any room that he entered. I’ll never know why he decided to take his own life. But through his passing, it has awakened an urgency to talk about and shed light on suicide. Talking about suicide is the best way to prevent it from happening. Call your people and check in on them. Have those caring conversations and tell your friends you love them. If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get them help immediately. Don’t wait.
Call 1-800-273-8255 to chat with a lifeline from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Snowboarders: Tucker Andrews, Ryan Arrington, Max Warbington, Gus Warbington, Erik Leon, Jeff Holce, Jesse Grandkoski, Miles Fallon, Bryant Davis, Sam Taxwood.
Film/Edit: Kyle Greene