Loren Nancarrow is gone. It’s still hard to believe. After bravely battling brain cancer, my friend and former TV colleague passed away last month at the age of 60.
We’ll never know, this side of eternity, why Loren was taken from his family, friends and thousands of fans in the prime of life. It’s just not fair. But from the moment Loren received his grim diagnosis, he decided not to waste a moment pondering “why me?”
“The doctors tell me I have between one and three years to live,” Loren wrote in his blog shortly after his diagnosis. “So, boo-hoo, poor me.”
Then, with grace, class and his signature sense of humor, Loren showed the rest of us how to live to the max and die with dignity…living each day with a grateful heart and a hopeful spirit.
Loren only got 10 more months but he filled his final days with fun, family and a sense of purpose – using his health challenges and high profile to help others with cancer and inspire thousands through his touching blogs.
Nowhere was that inspiration more evident than at Loren’s celebration of life service at Cardiff Beach. More than a thousand of us laughed, cried and comforted one another as paddlers formed a circle beyond the breakers and floated flowers in Loren’s honor. Many believe it was Loren himself who ordered the spectacular sunset that signaled his final goodbye.
As the crowd dispersed, my media pals and I remained on the darkening beach. The memorial was over, but we weren’t ready to leave. That’s when Jody Hammond, former News 8 reporter and friend to Loren got an idea. She invited any of us who could to an impromptu gathering at her home to talk about and toast our TV colleague.
For hours, 15 of us…all Loren’s co-workers over the years reminisced about our dear friend. We represented several local TV stations…Jim Laslavic from 7/39, Liz Purcell from News 8, photojournalist Mike Ineman, producer Janine Nakama and yours truly were part of the 10 News contingent.
But that night – standing around Jody’s kitchen island we may as well have been from the same station. No matter where he had worked, or with whom, Loren was loved. Through laughter and tears, we shared countless touching and hilarious remembrances about the guy who transformed his home into a “ranch,” from which he would report on every fruit, vegetable, herb and critter know to man…a guy completely unafraid to dig deep into a heap of compost or a heap of political controversy …the guy who insisted on calling me “Clara Bow,” despite years of protestations.
When the night ended, Loren was still gone, but thanks to Jody’s warmth and hospitality, we’d been given the gift of a little more time together to mourn and celebrate our friend providing closure for the gaping hole in our collective hearts.
Please keep Loren’s remarkable family in your thoughts and prayers. Those of us who knew and loved Loren have lost a friend…but Susie, Hannah, Graham and Britta have lost their husband, dad and hero.
May God richly bless them and give them comfort in their grief.