I had made a list of men that in my mind were going to be the “pallbearers” (translation: Lance’s close friends that were going to carry his body from our house to the back of his ’68 Ford pick up truck and up three flights of stairs to the shrine room at the Shambhala Center). The thing is, I didn’t want to tell the guys about this list because after all Lance was still alive. But as I said in my earlier post, I had to think of some of these details if I wanted to have a smooth process. I knew I didn’t want some hearse like vehicle with some man I had never met taking Lance away. I wanted to be a part of every step of the process including his cremation (yet another post) and I wanted him to go Lance style. Anyone that has known Lance long enough, knows he has NEVER been without a big ole’ beat up truck.
Almost 24 hours after Lance’s passing in our home (might sound freaky to some but felt like the most natural thing in the world), my seven strong men showed up organized by some of my dear close girlfriends who pretty much orchestrated everything after Lance’s passing.
Some of the men had been with Lance the day before while Lance was in a coma and some were seeing him for the first time. I was so impressed how they all showed up. Not just with their emotions but with their dignity, honor and grace. I felt such a connectedness with the group instantly from the moment they arrived which would only develop further as the days continued. Many of them would come spontaneously to the cremation with me a few days later. They sat around our bed, honoring and telling stories about Lance, laughing and crying. I was so touched by this display of affection from seven hunky men.
When they carried him, they treated Lance like a prince (which he was of course). My girls had bought a box (yes a cardboard box…made for a prince) for his transportation and my friend Roxanna had dyed these beautiful silks to lay him in. They placed him gently in the box and carried him to the truck. Mind you it was a 90 degree day and they were worried about him melting (he had dry ice on him to preserve his organs) but I didn’t want him to be covered up for his last ride in his truck (or ever actually). They complied, sweet men that they are, and all jumped in the back and gathered around him. I drove the truck along with my friend Roxanna while his childhood friend, Derek, pulled out a beautiful flute and started playing it. It was sweet and magical ride in light of such a sorrowful time.
We drove downtown and even got stopped on Pearl and Broadway right downtown (not by police, but by a red light). This is the busiest crosswalk in Boulder. The juxtaposition of these people casually walking across the street while the nine of us were in a sacred procession was a bit surreal.
When we arrived at the Shambhala Center, Lance’s dear and caring friends carried him up three flights of stairs to the beautiful shrine room where Lance and I have meditated many times and my kids have been a part of the Buddhist school there for years. Almost immediately, four gorgeous bouquet of flowers (thanks to Tommy) arrived and were placed around him.
Between the men, they decided who would be with Lance throughout the night…sometimes multiple people sat with him. He was never left alone for a moment until his cremation. This gave me great comfort after being awake for more than 60 hours to go home, be with my kids and finally get some rest before yet another mystical and moving ceremony that would be held the next evening.
Words cannot express my gratitude for these gracious, heart-centered men who honored and loved Lance in a way that the sincerest of friends do. I know Lance in spirit is smiling down and saying “thank you.”