Personal note from From Susan & Hannah
Sara was turning 50 on April 25th of this year and in true Sara fashion, she was planning a party with Jon at their farm in Vernonia. It would have been a party not to miss, filled with all us waifs, strays, geniuses, investors, artists and entrepreneurs she’d adopted over her life. We’d have danced until dawn, slept in tents in fields and gone for a walk with the dogs in the morning, nursing our coffees and hangovers, talking plants and justice and funding and dogs and projects.
We’d have flown or driven for miles to get there, quite simply because Sara was pure magic, a bright light, a ball of energy, talking fast with her Ladies College of Cheltenham British accent she never shook, ploughing idea after idea out into the ether to see what stuck. She’d walk into a room and stride, purposeful, grinning, talking, gesticulating and everyone would turn to watch her pass. She drew you to her like a magnet, and then she’d teach you to say yes to everything. Yes to gatecrashing a party full of strangers. Yes to the hike. Yes to the bong in her flat on a wednesday night before a big meeting the next day. Yes to a new venture. Yes to daring, to living outside the lines.
Sara was brilliant. She went from one of the most prestigious private schools in the UK (girls only) to one of the best universities (Durham) to one of the top accounting consultancies (Accenture) and then on to create her own award winning businesses and to advise hundreds of others. But Sara wasn’t “run of the mill” smart, she was creatively, brilliantly, vibrantly, mischievously, passionately smart. Sara’s heart beat harder for purpose and justice and at the heart of that was an anger at injustice. Injustice would always fuel her. The injustice of capital unevenly distributed. The injustice of a dog left to die by the side of the road. The injustice of a legal system that criminalized cannabis. She used her brain to figure out ways to beat the system, or change the system. She used her charisma to convince people to join her. And she made it happen through pure perseverance, determination and stubbornness.
Sara was fragile. In the most humanising of ways, this tall, fierce, brilliant woman was also vulnerable with her rawness and her trauma, turning it into empathy and kindness that rippled out into so many of our lives. How many people slept on her couches? How many people did she help pro bono? How many of us did she make our world better? She saw our vulnerability and within hours built deep friendships, connecting with people beneath the surface and the armour. She was so brilliant and also so raw at times, about her rollercoaster past, about her health, about the pain she’d lived through.
Sara loved deeply. At the heart of these last years, was her love for Jon, and between them they plotted, created, built, dreamt, fueling each other, fueling others. Buy a farm in the middle of nowhere - no problem. Plant a hemp seed farm - sure. Start a cattle farm, plan to build a house, welcome people into their home for extended stays, always. Watching them together and how they fitted like a jigsaw, the broken and the brilliance creating something calm and deep, like the lake in front of their house. Sara loved Jon, and his children, Dylan and Rowan, with a calm, steady deep love that didn’t shake - however fast she moved in the rest of her life.
Sara lived life so fast. Her days were so full, packed with experiences and adventures and projects and people. Birthing cows, making CBD Balm, launching companies, giving classes, training dogs - could you keep up with the constant quest for learning, the constant curiosity, the romancing of an idea and then actually taking out the hammer and nails to make it happen - buying second hand vans and turning them into campers and setting off to Idaho, stopping at dog trainers on the way? She was fearless it seemed, despite the fears she’d had to live with early on. Or perhaps because of what she’d lived through.
The speed and the intensity at which Sara lived may well have been exhausting for some. Now she’s leaving us, you have to ask, how many lives did Sara pack into her 49 years? How much of the world did she see, how many lives did she touch, how many ventures did she pioneer? And how do we carry Sara’s gifts with us for the rest of our lives? Sara showed us all what it meant to thirst for a life, filled to the brim of all the world could give you, all of it: the dark and the light, the joy and the pain, the depth and the breadth.
Did you have plans with Sara? Things you’d do together after COVID? Trips and adventures, ventures and projects? It was all to come. The wedding. The 50th birthday party. The next trip to Europe. And now Sara is leaving us, and leaving her organs to others, yet again rippling out into the world to change people’s lives. How will you carry Sara with you? How will her love of life, her thirst for creating, building, making, changing be continued? How will her ability to love change how we show up with others? Will your next adventure be in Sara’s spirit?
We set up this place so that all those who loved Sara could come together here, and share memories, stories, as well as plan and plot how we will mourn and celebrate her, hold onto each other for we have lost someone so special, a once in a lifetime special kind of special. Please share your stories, your memories, your laughter. We’ll keep you posted on how we can all come together to support Jon, Dylan, Rowan and Rebecca - who accompanied Sara on her final adventure, and how we can come together anon to grieve and celebrate Sara together. For now, please hold on donations or plans until we have some time to come together with Jon and consider how best to honor Sara's legacy.
Love and thanks
Susan & Hannah