There is never anything one can say or do to rationalize a young death. No words give it justice, and no action can modify it to bring swift closure and peace. It is an occurrence that will linger forever in the hearts and minds of those who loved and lost, but will live on remembering. This is the case for Sarah Hessen Eyd, a beloved friend and colleague to me and many others, who left this world too soon.
I met Sarah as an undergrad at Shippensburg University, working for the school newspaper The Slate. It was there we developed a friendship over our dreams of going to New York City for editorial pursuits in the magazine empire. Sarah approached me to co-found and develop a new magazine, one she was incredibly excited about, called Her Campus. I was honored she asked me to be the Co-Editor-in-Chief alongside her, and was fortunate for her guidance, as she had already interned at Redbook in New York City. Since we did not have a university magazine, this was the sole outlet for young women at Shippensburg University to grow and develop skills to become competitive in the journalism field for women’s interest magazines. If it were not for Sarah, Her Campus Ship would not exist today.
Sarah was an extraordinary person, even when she was just starting out in the journalism world. She received a H.O.P.E diversity scholarship, which provides scholarships to help students from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She also received the Mark Lipper Journalism Award, which is given to an outstanding upperclassman in the communication and journalism department, and is the highest award given in that department.
We worked for Her Campus Ship until we both graduated and parted ways, but we always kept in touch over networking opportunities and new career paths. Some of her career achievements include her work at Redbook, Bliss Bridal Magazine, SHAPE fine arts gallery, Girl’s Life, Shippensburg News Chronicle and Volvo to name a few. She also was a foreign correspondent for Transitions Abroad to report from Istanbul on food, culture and Turkish life.
Brandi Fitch, a former friend and colleague said, “Sarah was the kind of person who was always there to help you, no matter what the situation was. She was a great friend and very passionate about her work. Every time I spoke with her, she was keeping busy with different projects whether it was for Her Campus or The Slate. Sarah was such a fun, sweet and beautiful soul, and will be dearly missed. We may have lost an amazing human being here on Earth, but heaven has gained one kick-ass angel.”
Robyn Woodley, also a former friend and colleague stated, “There were so many aspects of her that were hilarious and shrouded in mystery. I guess I’d say she was super witty and curious about life, which is what made her a great writer. I never knew what to expect from her. Once she took me to Chambersburg without saying why and we ended up investigating a cat colony behind a Chinese restaurant. She was always there for me when I needed it. It’s surreal that she’s gone. I’ll miss her so much.”
One of my favorite memories of Sarah is when she came to visit me in New York City when I was interning for Food Network. She came to volunteer for the NYC Food and Wine Festival with me, and she demonstrated so much knowledge and experience for the event. She met me at Artichoke Pizza, across the street from the Food Network offices in Chelsea, to give a champagne toast to our career pursuits. That is how I like to remember her best; a glass of champagne risen high in a toast in one hand, a slice of pizza in the other, and the most genuine smile and warmth I have ever felt. Sarah was truly one-of-a-kind, an inspiration to me and many others, and extremely talented in her field. It is incredibly sad to think of how much more she could have accomplished in life if she had more time, but fate has swept her away from us all. I think I can speak for all her friends and colleagues in what is quite possibly the understatement of the century, “Sarah, you will be missed.”