Friday, August 9, 2013

Dear Sarah

I lost my dear, dear friend, Sarah Brucker on Wednesday night. Yesterday morning, it was impossible to comprehend. Yesterday afternoon, it started to sink in. This morning, it’s real.

Dear Sarah,

I hope this letter finds you well, with a summer ale in one hand and the most beautiful shade of lip gloss in the other. On your face, I know there is a smile. Because there always is.

Am I starting off too corny for you already, Brucker? Well, fasten your seatbelt because I’m about to go full corn on you. Remember, I’m a wriiiiiiii-TOR! (just not on Sundays).

We were at your place one night, bantering about nothing as always, when I realized there was something I really wanted – and needed - to tell you. I had to make sure you knew how much you meant to me. I don’t know what brought it on. It wasn’t like we were doing anything unusual. It was just another night for us. But maybe that’s why I felt the need to tell you this. Because it was just another night - and yet it was so comfortable and easy and wonderful and lovely and nothing made me happier than simply spending time with you.

I took a pause and looked at you and with a hint of drama said, “you know, you make everything brighter for me.”

You paused and then smirked, looked at me and said, “you regret saying that right now, don’t you?”

I looked at you and sighed and said, “yeeeessss….” And we both died laughing. I thought you would never let me live that down. 

But you never brought it up again. And I have to think it’s because you knew I absolutely meant it.

Sarah, no one has ever illuminated my world the way you did.
You made colors brighter, laughter louder, tears richer.

You had a way of making everyone feel like they were so special. You could make every woman feel more beautiful. And not just because of your makeup skills – because of your words.

No one dished out compliments the way that you did. I knew that no matter what I looked like when I saw you, you would find something to say about me that would make me glow. Whether it was my shoes, my bun, a random shirt you’d seen a million times. (“ummmmm, are you going to wear another v-neck t-shirt this weekend?” “Yes, I am.”)

And all I keep thinking about is a quote from Ionesco’s play, “The Chairs”

We will leave some traces for we are people and not cities.

Sarah, no one, NO ONE, left a bigger trace on people than you did. The trace you left on me changed my life. I hope you know that. And the trace you left on everyone you met is beyond measure. People would meet you once and be smitten forever. I don’t know how you did it but you would draw people in and immediately make them feel like the most important person in the room (even though we all knew that, by far, the most important person in the room was, and always would be, you.)

Whenever I’m in a room full of people I don’t know, I think to myself, how would Brucker handle this? And the answer is always that you would flash your megawatt smile, say something completely off the wall and strike up a conversation. And that person would remember the night as the night they met that hilarious, gorgeous, wonderful character by the name of Sarah Brucker.

You called me your best friend almost from the start. It's not a favor I could return right away because I thought, “wait, wait! There's still so much more to know about each other! It’s too soon.” My heart was putting on the brakes because… I don’t know why. But your heart already knew everything you needed to know about me and it was decided. I wish I could've allowed my heart to run as free as you let yours run. 

And Sarah, yes, you were, are and forever will be my best friend.

I went to see the sunrise this morning after a night of no sleep. I don’t know why but I think it's because I needed to prove to myself that the world would still have color without you.

It does. But it's lost a few shades of brilliance.

Remember when we were listening to Bon Iver one night and I mentioned how much they had grown on me and how I was now obsessed with that song Skinny Love? Your eyes lit up and you asked, “ohhh! Who’s your skinny love?” I was so thrown by that because it hadn’t occurred to me that I needed to have someone to relate the song to in order to love it.

But I get it now. You lived so big that every second, every moment, every day was imparted with such significance. There were so many songs that you felt explained your thoughts, your experiences, your loves – every lyric was speaking directly at you. Music was such a powerful force for you. (My iPod is almost off-limits right now because half of the songs are connected to my experiences singing them with you in the car or at your place.)

I knew who your skinny love was and Sarah, I now know who my skinny love is. 

It is you. You are my skinny love. I know that for the next month I will put Bon Iver’s and Birdy’s versions of the song on repeat and cry every time I hear it. It will be my soundtrack for grieving you and trying to figure out what will make the world bright again.

I love you so much. The world loves you so much. We are all better for having known you.



Krista said...

This is so heartbreaking and beautiful. I've never met you and I sadly never met Sarah (though we all have several mutual friends), but I can't help but sit here and cry reading every word of this. I'm so, so sorry for your loss -- everyone's loss. Her colors will still shine for you, surely. Hang in there.

Linda Palus said...

Stacey -
Thank you for so eloquently capturing Sarah's spirit. She truly left a huge trace on me and everyone she knew/met. Your amazing friendship together was so evident every time I saw you together - such an inspiration as to how valuable a true friendship is. I am soooo very sorry for your loss.

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Jess McCann said...

What an absolutely beautiful letter. My heart breaks reading how she touched so many people I know....and all these people are pretty wonderful, so that says a lot about her. I said to a mutual friend last night (who worked with Sarah over the weekend), that I hope I am half the person that Sarah was. I woke up this morning wanting to cherish every moment and laugh as much as I can, all because of Sarah. I had an urge to find a puddle and jump in it. May Sarah live in everyone's heart...she sure seemed like a wonderful force! Stacey, stay beautiful!!!!!

Anonymous said...

PureHeartLove. Thankyouforsharing.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. Beautiful tribute.

Anonymous said...

Stacey - Thank you for sharing such kind words about Sarah. I am so very sorry for your loss.

I'm actually a reporter with Lake Country and was hoping you could get in touch with me -- mgraham @ j r n . com.

I'm trying to reach out to friends and family members to get to know her a little better. Also wondering if you've heard about any donations or fundraisers for the kids that I can share w readers.

Thank you for your time and, again, I'm so sorry for your loss. --Melissa Graham

jen26r said...


Jaxie said...

So beautiful. Am in tears reading this. She always spoke so highly of you. The world lost a beautiful soul and this tribute is truly from the heart. So very brave of you during this difficult time.

Sara Beth Kaye said...
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Sara Beth Kaye said...

Your heartfelt letter is just as beautiful as Sarah. My heart brakes for all who loved her. She will always be part of you and live within you.
Sara Beth

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