The Lance celebration..recap and videos

I wanted to share a recap of Lance’s memorial…many of you were there and some were unable to come. It was hands down one of the most beautiful fall days we’ve had. It was truly a magical day. I am sure the 32 degree snowy/rainy weather the day before helped make it seem that much more glorious but I like to think Lance took part in creating the incredible vibe that ensued. It was a Lance day for sure. He’s favorite weather…a crisp fall day, not a single cloud in the blue blue sky.

I am posting 2 videos (see below): The first is one I made to show a glimpse of Lance’s life. Believe it or not, I edited 90 pictures out of it. It was not easy because almost every picture I have of Lance I either love or have special memories of or know the story behind them but I tried my hardest to keep it to the best of the best.

The second video was created by Kirsten Boyer who is an awesome local photographer who documented the whole day and created a video out of her photographs. I have had major troubles getting the quality of her video downloaded so this video does not do her work justice. I know the beginning actually looks like I am marrying my friend Roxanna but for those of you who don’t know by now, Roxanna was an integral part in the end of Lance’s life, his death and the organizing of this event.

First I will mention some highlights (all of which are in the video)…

My kids, Zach and Amélie participating in a very special Native American ceremony in front of a bonfire led by our friend Pete who is from the Diné (Navajo) tribe. I thought to myself, I might not be able to get through this next hour because just watching my kids, my emotions ran the gamut of love to sadness for my sweet children.

The speeches were all incredible and some even laugh out loud hilarious representing different sides of Lance from the hard worker, to the spiritual seeker, to the endless giver and helper, to the awesome father, husband, son, friend, and unique individual he was.

Parts of an incredible prayer that my friend Tiphaine wrote and shared is scattered throughout the video below. I may have to post this whole prayer as it is so beautiful and captures so much of who Lance was and what he means to us now. I am incredibly grateful for this prayer. I can hardly fathom how Tiphaine wrote this but it blew me away as I know it did for every person there.

Another highlight for me was Amélie playing the piano and singing “Let it Be” (with her super talented teacher Kate Jaworski).  I thought I would cry but I was just so proud of my little girl.

The thing that did reduce me to a puddle of tears and which I think took many by surprise was at the end of the ceremony when two bagpipers came out and played “Amazing Grace.” We had moved into the barn to watch Lance’s video and the acoustics inside the barn were incredible. Thank you Roxanna for that extremely special and memorable touch.
So here are the videos
Lance Tribute:

Lance’s tribe:

Thank you for all of you who helped make this happen: to all my friends, to the natural foods community and Planet Bluegrass who all contributed to this celebration in a big way. It was very representative of how our community has been with my family all along. Thank you. I am deeply grateful.

Lastly, I wanted to share Kirsten Boyer (the photographer’s) website. Thank you Kirsten.


26 thoughts on “The Lance celebration..recap and videos

  1. Nancy- what an incredible tribute to Lance the whole memorial was. From the amazing site, weather, ritual, speakers, music and now these videos, I can’t think of any better way to honor such an amazing human being. I felt him everywhere that day and still feel him now. Thank you for sharing your amazing love affair with us all. Truly awesome.


  2. Dear Nancy,

    Thank you so much for sharing everything with us.. I am sorry I was un able to be there in person.. such beautiful tributes for such a wonderful person…
    wow such love and beauty… thank you so much for sharing…
    I am deeply sorry that I missed Lance’s day…
    much love,
    Susan Brown

  3. this is good because I hadn’t had my cry today!!! what an incredibly beautiful tribute to a beautiful being…a very bright spirit to pull all these beings together in one place. the photos are amazing – kirsten did an amazing job. parts of that day are still a blur for me, so i am especially glad to see parts of tiphaine’s poem – very powerful and true. i hope you do publish the poem in its entirety because i would love a copy. nancy, you have such a beautiful way of opening my heart (like your sweet husband) making me laugh and cry all at the same time…so glad we decided to get married (hee hee.) LOVE LOVE LOVE you and your sweet family. xo

    • I knew this was from you Roxanna, before I saw your picture.
      I’m so glad you and Nancy have each other.

      Nancy, I’ve been wanting to write to you. You are an amazing woman, with a heart that seems to encompass all. Your giving at the most heart wrenching time in your, life purely astounds me. You are so eloquent, and beautiful, with this glow that lights up all around you. That’s much like Roxanna.
      Roxanna is my dear cousin.
      I wish for you peace, comfort and laughter!

  4. Again, and again, and again…I am moved…beyond tears…
    A beautiful video- This was not only a deeply moving tribute to Lance, but also a true reflection of the amazing community that surrounds the Gentry Family. Wow. I am in awe, again, and again, and again.

  5. Here I am again. Just watched the first video- again, moved beyond tears. But Nancy- can I just ask…..can you take a bad picture??? OMG- you are stunning in every single picture- your beauty radiates from the inside out!

  6. it was so sad to be out of the country and miss this yet both videos were a treasure to watch, thank you for sharing them Nancy. A wonderful celebration of a life well lived by Lance. Absolutely amazing. love to you all…

  7. What beautiful memories you have created! My first reaction was to be stunned by how mature Amelie looks. Zach too, but Amelie has really left the baby face behind. She appears to be heading in her mom’s direction of amazingly gorgeous! You really do light up every picture you are in and it was so nice to see the love that poured out of the photos from all of your friends and family. I am sorry that I could not be there to add to that support, but I am continuing to keep you, Zach and Amelie and your whole family in my heart and nightly blessings. Good night, sweet Nancy.

  8. Having seen these amazing video’s I’m so touched by joy at having Lance, Nancy and the kids in our lives.
    While you were celebrating life in this heartfelt get together a smaller tribe of Gentrys were in Lake City Michigan planting a tree (named Lance) by the fire circle where so many stories (and lies) have been shared. We hope to celebrate summer with you all again in Lake City, and share some more of our favorite Lance moments!

  9. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! thank you for sharing. i watched with tears of joy, sorrow, and remembrance streaming down my face. lance touched my life in a very profound way and i am so grateful to have known him. he shines through the eyes of your children like pure sunshine…it’s stunning! with deep respect, susan jones

  10. Nancy, thank you for the incredible generosity of your sharing through all of this. I have learned so much about love and openness from you. The memorial was stunning. I felt like Lance was watching and smiling from the trees. I have never heard anything more beautiful than Tiphaine’s prayer — please do post if you think it’s right! Love, Victoria

  11. Nancy,

    Thank you for sharing this incredible day.

    I was conflicted about whether or not I should fly out and attend Lance’s Memorial. I wanted to be there to support you and your kids, but after watching those videos I am comforted by all the love and support that was showered upon you, Zach, and Amelie. That ceremony looked truly amazing and magical, and I’m really happy that you were able to experience it. It’s really what life is all about.

    You and your kids are beautiful, and as someone stated on your blog, it is impossible for you to take a bad picture…you truly light up the world with your smile.

    Much love and care always, Andy

  12. So lovely to touch this again. I kind of want to go back and do it all over again because it brought me so close to him. I love you girl, and thank you for all you have given me in this journey. And thank you deep and ture, Lance, for the unexpressionable gift you have given me. Love has a whole new meaning for me.

  13. Nancy,
    I just watched your tribute to Lance’s life as I only saw a little of it at his memorial. How powerful it is to see a person’s life (especially Lance’s) compressed into eight minutes. It makes life seem so short and so small and so full and so glorious all at once. I can’t imagine how you must have felt pulling together all those photos and putting all those memories in one place. Thank you for sharing it – it is beautiful.
    love Kirsten and Family

  14. Thank you-thank you-thank you-for sharing the photos and amazing videos. I was sad to miss the event-

    I was so moved, filled with both joy and sadness watching the video/slideshow you made capturing aspects of Lance’s life.

    Seeing the video of the Lance celebration allowed me a view into a clearly incredible day of honoring an amazing man. And, your children are the embodiment of your and Lance’s spirit and shining light.

    Much love,


  15. Nancy: Thank you for sharing so much over the last year and a half. I don’t know if you fully appreciate the extent to which you, Lance, and your beautiful children have so deeply affected those around you, but not a day passes without you guys touching me in a very real way. I am constantly reminded to more fully embrace life, family, and friends, and the small, yet wondrous, things in life that we so easily overlook. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the experiences you have shared in words, photos, and videos have had a profound impact on me (and I suspect countless others), and that I carry your family within my heart.


  16. How absolutely beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thank you for posting the videos and sharing Lance’s life. Thinking of you.

  17. Dear Nancy,
    I am so grateful to get an opportunity to view those beautiful videos. What an amazing tribute to clearly an incredible and incredibly loved man. Tiphaine’s words are so eloquent, wise and hearfelt, and all the love is evident in those images of you all. I viewed these with tears just streaming down my cheeks, I am so moved by you all. So thank you again for sharing this most sacred journey of life, love, loss, and learning to live with that love in a new way.

  18. Nancy,

    If I was sorry to miss Lance’s tribute before, I am even more so after seeing these moving videos. So far I’ve watched them twice. The first time I mostly cried but the second time I was able to feel the pure joy of Lance’s life and of your life together. I love that you included photos from every stage of his journey (including the nude cliff jump!). His curiosity, passion, energy, humor, love and generosity shine through in picture after picture. I want to watch his tribute with Ethan and Ellis as an example of how to live with deeply and with conviction. Despite the loss and the sadness, I think you have been truly blessed and I don’t say that lightly.

    With love and admiration,


  19. What a beautiful post and tribute to your husband. I saw your article on Elephant journal and I just had to pop over and see your blog. Sending you all love and peace.

  20. Dear Nancy, I saw your tribute videos on Elephantjournal. I have since signed up to receive your blog. I am so sorry for your loss of your husband.after seeing your videos and reading many of your entries I really am convinced you would be comforted by Kristine Carlson’s book, Heart-broken Open.She poignantly describes her grief after losing her beloved and then her path to is a tremendously moving story and has many parallels to your own journey. someone else in your circle must have given you this book by now and I strongly encourage you to pick it up and start reading. please give the book a chance, I believe it would be comforting to read of someone who has survived and flourished after unthinkable loss. your new fan in Santa Cruz, CA, Pilar Glucs

  21. NancyGirl-TheWorld…that’s my new nickname for my mamacita. As NancyGirl, you have always brightened my day with your kookiness and light-filled energy and now, as NancyGirl-TheWorld, you are a wise North Star, inspiring me/us to keep my eyes on the goodness, no matter that the world might be falling apart all around.
    I have been left speechless and yet filled and running over, but I had to sit with this posting for awhile before writing.
    I am so sad I could not be there with you all, but I am so very grateful for your loving choice to keep me/us close through this journey. I am humbly honored. Love you so much. xo

  22. Those videos were so beautiful and touching, Nan. I am sorry I wasn’t there with you, but I heeded your request to keep the kiddos to Z & A’s close friends. I know Ted, Sam and Mae send their greatest love and hugs to you all, as do I. You are such a beautiful testament to all that is right and good in the world. Hugs.

    So much love,
    Ellen & the fam

  23. nancy,

    you are inspiring. what an incredible testament to lance those 2 videos are. thank you for letting us in, i have truly appreciated the sharing. it is hard to even find the words to describe the depth of gratitude i have for being included in this journey. thank you.

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