Tears and rainbows

When I was pregnant with Zach, I cried a lot. At first, Lance thought it was cute. He said, “I’m glad you’re human” because he hadn’t seen me cry much before. When I was pregnant the second time around, he was over it. In fact, I remember crying on a plane at a really bad movie (so bad I can’t even admit it) and he thought I was nuts. I wonder what he would think now? Tears are a normal part of my days. It makes me think of Telluride or Kauai (two of our favorite places in the world). One minute it’s a beautiful day, the next it’s pouring rain and then the clouds part and it’s blue sky again and if you’re lucky, a beautiful rainbow appears. I feel like this every day.

I guess this is my grief process. I keep wondering about those five stages…to me grief is disbelief. Is that the same as denial? I often think, “I can’t believe I am not going to see you again Lance” and then I get a sign that maybe that’s not entirely true. His spirit is everywhere and it keeps appearing…but I’m going to save that for another post.

Those other stages…anger? Is that going to happen? I hope not. I don’t like that emotion. Yearning? Yes. I yearn for Lance daily. I yearn for the sound of his tools in the garage, the messes he would make, his car coming home up the alley, interrupting me to tell me some fascinating fact from one of his books. I yearn talking to him, laughing with him, hugging him, spooning him, taking unromantic steam showers while talking politics, even making him endless juices. I yearn hearing the words, “I love you Nan.” I yearn for the father of our children. I yearn countless things about him.

Even the 5th stage…letting go. That part is hard to imagine. I realize I am no where near that stage. I am afraid of moving on, even if that means I will suffer less. Moving on without my Lance? There was so many things I loved about us…even our names…Lance and Nance. I know that sounds silly but it’s true.

My friend who is going through hospice training told me that often people expect the bereaved to be “moving on” in 6 months? I was shocked. I can tell you now…that isn’t happening here…6 months?! It took me a lot longer to get over my first love when I was a teenager.

A friend of Lance’s wrote me something beautiful…some wise words from a Native American. He said, tears are a healthy and good part of death. Water brings us into the world and helps us leave the world. The mother’s water breaks when we are born and that helps bring us into the world, and tears are the water that helps our journey out of the world.

I guess I am helping Lance along…I hope he isn’t getting tired of my tears.


17 thoughts on “Tears and rainbows

  1. This is so beautiful Nancy. Thank you for sharing with so much vulnerability and authenticity. It makes me think of losing my mom and how as time goes on I actually feel her more and more. Perhaps it’s because she is living more fully in me now as an adult and maybe you will see Lance showing up more and more in your kids as they grow too.

  2. nancygirl…i am crying. of course. how could i not cry. and i think i always will as long as you are. and i’m now thinking that my (and all of our) tears are added to your own as part of the collective journey. i hold you and the children and lance in my thoughts and in my tears. xo

  3. Nancy,
    This was the most beautiful post I have read. All of it – I may frame it, so tears will come to my eyes every time I read it.
    I’m sure u have read Joan Didions Year of Magical Thinking.
    You and Lance continue together to be such a gift to all of us.
    Huge kissxxxxs

    • Thank you Sandra…means a lot coming from someone I always had to walk around with a notepad and paper to look up your vocabulary words in a dictionary after talking with you.
      Reading her book right now actually.
      Love you.

  4. Nancy- almost all of your posts have made me cry and it’s always felt good. Never more so than today. Your love for Lance is one of the coolest things I know of in this world. I can only imagine how weird that sounds coming from somone you don’t know (but, I hope to change that on 10/7) and either way it’s the best way I can think of to say thank you for all that you share. There’s no way he’s getting tired of your tears… maybe that’s even easier for “an outsider” to know.

  5. Oh Nance…Another beautiful and poetic post by you! I have been in tears all day myself as its the birthday of our daughter Grace (Gracie Ryder) we lost at birth 7yrs ago. You teach me/us all so much with your brave healing power …and yet we are all still just delicate souls affected by the words and tears of others!
    Looking ahead and preparing for any pain or loss to get easier or more manageable is unknown. Kudos for all you’ve succumbed thus far with such Grace and Zen like powers. I really look forward to hugging you and celebrating the ever amazing Lance very soon!
    Love n light~Katie

  6. Thinking of you Nan! Every rainbow in Telluride will be a good opportunity to celebrate Lance. You’re always welcome here with us!

  7. Beautiful post my friend! I have fond memories of our 3 some Telluride hike! You are truly an inspiration and an amazing writer. Keep writing and blogging!

  8. Dear Nancy my heart is with you.
    What a surprise to see a picture of Telluride.
    Yes is a beautiful place I do have many memories living there , also for me some grieving memories, still much beauty to witness.
    Many blessings on your way to you and your family .

  9. hi nancy,
    my tears are flowing now too! for you, for lance, for your children. but somehow the sadness that the tears are bringing also feels joyous. the joy that comes from reading your beautiful words, the happiness of being connected to you and the amazing community that you have founded. i cannot thank you enough for being so open with us and teaching us all how to be better lovers and mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and children. i never got to write to lance before he died but i had composed a note many times in my head. i feel like he was searching for a way to leave his mark and i wanted to tell him to search no more. he has left it, with this incredible journey that he shared with us. the inspiration and knowledge that he felt strong enough to share with us will live on in our actions that we share with others! i am so sorry that we cannot be with you next weekend as i can just imagine the party that will be going on to celebrate the life force that was lance gentry!
    xx rain

  10. Hey Nancy,

    My heart goes out to so big and wide it’s bigger than earth itself.
    A friend of mine in her sixties just recently lost her daughter in her 30’s to breast cancer and she wrote this:

    “the secret of grief if there is one…is to take the love for the ONE and send it out to the many…to realize that the vacuum will never be filled in the same way…so one must refill with God…and more God…and more God…while still feeling the heartwrenching loss…it is the true definition of the agony and the ecstasy…”

    hope this help even a tiny bit.
    sending you love and more love.

  11. Girl, that made us all cry; so he can feel all our love wishing him well on the journeys ahead. I certainly cried a river on Sunday night as I danced to Eyes of the World, followed poetically to He’s Gone.

  12. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Nancella!
    This is my favorite post of all and I’m feeling very connected to it tonight.
    I wish I was with you right now- I believe you are surrounded by beautiful women and candles …have an amazing night.
    Oh, and one of those creations better have a damn rainbow on it!! 🙂

    My constant love and admiration to you…and your lovelies, especially Rox!
    Seeing you all very soon.

  13. I’ve always been a crier, and I love the different way of thinking about tears. Thinking of you. so happy to see the number of people attending Lance’s memorial. It’s a small army!!!


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