Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shine Bright, Dear Sarah

With a heavy, heavy heart I share with you that Sarah Chidgey Hughes is making her passage on to the other side today. Her husband assured that she is, indeed, enveloped in love, surrounded by her dearest and that she is using her last breaths to say the words 'I love you'.

My heart is broken and my tears flow for her, for her new husband, for her family and large circle of devoted friends, for her students. She was faithful and above all, GRACEFUL until the very end. Never dimmed. The beyond will be, whatever that is, certainly more illuminated and warm this night with Sarah's spirit there.

The last time I saw Sarah was in November in clinic. She was walking with a cane and wearing a huge smile. We paused and talked delicately about the journey we were on. I remember her smiling and laughing. I remember her beauty, even through obvious pain. Her video posts were mostly positive, uplifting and occasionally raw. She stayed steadfast in her faith and love for God until the end. It is a certainty that she was granted comfort and abundant peace.

Sarah, you taught me grace through pain. It took me a long time to see it, but when it reveiled itself, you were there, always hopeful. Always saying 'miracles happen!'. The community that surrounds you and your dear husband is the stuff of magic, the kind of collection of souls that can only congregate around a really worthy center, YOU. They have held you and will continue to hold you. Sarah, I pray for you freedom from pain, a perfectly restored body and peace with your maker. That you watch your loved ones and wrap them in your luminous arms.

You are going too soon, dear, but your message that you've left behind is the eternal one of love. I am humbled to have known you and find myself changed a bit, softened, by your steadfast grace.

Much love, peace and comfort to the Chidgey and Hughes families, to her abundant friends, to her devoted husband Eric.

When the summer heat returns and the fireflies begin their nightly show, I will always think of you, Sarah. Shining bright.


  1. Sweet Laura, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Please know I am praying for Sarah and her family, and for you, as you all go through this hard time. xoxo CAL

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  3. Laura, I'm so sorry to learn of Sarah's passing. I know how important it was for you to meet and know her, one of the very few at your age and stage of life. So I'm sure this is deeply affecting in ways most of us can't begin to imagine. Thinking of you. Love, Chris

  4. Laura, what a wonderful tribute to your friend.... again, as often happens when reading your powerfully strung together words, i'm crying. i'm so sorry for the loss of sarah, for her family, friends, and for you. you are blessed to have known her and i feel that blessing vicariously through you.

  5. I was one of the student of Sarah Chidgey and she was my inspiration. She asked us if we were okay when she was in her pain going through cancer and those words should have only be heard to her ears. She was also my friend. She was everyone's friend.

    The last time I saw her I had lied. I had said I would see her soon. But the last day of school was the last time I saw her in person. When I said goodbye I never really thought it meant forever.

    As she liked to say, Shine Bright Fireflies, Shine bright.
    -Naomi Torres