Remembering Sarah Burke

January 20th, 2012 by

A remembrance by Shay Williams~

With the news of Sarah Burke's passing, I don't know if I'll ever be whole again. Certainly the ski industry—the thing she loved so very dearly—will never be whole again. The world has dimmed, losing one of its best and brightest. The measure of her loss can never be quantified. No amount of grieving, celebrating or canonizing will ever make this world seem right again. So, it's with a heavy heart, that I remember Sarah; my friend and an entire generation's inspiration.

She loved her husband. She loved her family and friends. She loved her dog. She loved to smile and laugh. She didn't have a bad bone in her body. She was a fighter. She was an inspiration. She made the room warmer, the conversation funnier and the experience greater. She loved to compete. She was an insanely gifted athlete. She was an equally amazing interior decorator. She was a home-body. She loved to take care of people. She loved to cook. She loved to eat. She loved to drink. She loved to dance. She loved to travel. She loved the tropics. She loved an adventure. She loved a good practical joke. And most of all, she loved to love.

She served as an inspiration to us all. To fight for the things that we so badly want. To approach each and every day with unmatched zest. To treat every person with unequaled kindness. And to reach for the stars, for they are obtainable.

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It's tragic when a young life is cut short, when Sarah had so much more to give this world. And we can take a little solace in the fact that she accomplished and experienced as much in her truncated life than many will in five lifetimes.

But Sarah will live on. In our hearts and our memories. Every day we stand on top of a mountain or at the bottom of a halfpipe, Sarah will be there. We will elevate her, as she so rightly deserves. But, as we must do whenever anyone passes, we must proceed with our lives. Not with an empty soul, but with a full heart, as that's what Sarah would want.

Goodbye Sarah. I, and the entire world, will miss you dearly.

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To help Rory Bushfield and the Burke family, please donate at giveforward.com/sarahburke.

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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.