LAZER SARAH TRATTNER LAZER Beloved wife of Grant Lazer, mother of Henry and Charlotte Lazer, and daughter of Stephen and Sandy Trattner and Susan Cartney, Sarah died at age 39 on Friday, February 19, 2021 following a heroic battle with colon cancer. Family, friendship, and Jewish values were central to Sarah’s life. She enjoyed close relationships with both her and her husband’s many loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews around the country. Sarah also loved her friends (many of which she referred to as “sisters”) from attending Stone Ridge School, Oldfields School, and Elon University; parents whose children she taught as a preschool teacher for five years; and the nurturing community she cultivated through Temple Beth Ami. Sarah was a natural entertainer, a wonderful actress, and an excellent singer with a radiant smile. As a young adult, she held leading roles in her school plays (particularly comedies, as she was naturally funny) and in all musicals given her beautiful singing voice. As a mom, she returned to the stage after a 19-year hiatus through her involvement with Temple Beth Ami. All who crossed Sarah’s path knew that above all else, she was a “Mama Bear” who loved and protected her children. Sarah loved to create beautiful decorations for her children’s’ birthday parties, costumes for Halloween, and activities for the neighborhood kids. She ensured that her children , had everything they needed to succeed in life and she made them feel special and loved every single day. At an early meeting after her diagnosis, Sarah’s oncologist said, “I have good and bad news. First the good news: Your cancer is a type that is not hereditary so you will not pass it on to your children. The bad news is that unfortunately, you have one of the most aggressive types of cancer, so your options for treatment are very limited. It’s very likely that after four more months of chemotherapy, we will only be able to offer palliative care.” Sarah immediately replied to the oncologist, saying “That is good news.” From that moment, she never spoke or acted in any way to suggest that she thought it was unfair. She stayed grounded in her steadfast belief that the key to happiness is to be grateful for every day of your life, without exception. Sarah’s positive attitude, bravery, and resilience enabled her to endure chemotherapy for nearly three months longer than expected. She then had radiation five times a week for several months and lived almost a full year longer than her doctors originally thought was possible. Just five days before she passed away, Sarah was able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her husband and children and moms and dads. They giggled and cuddled, reading cards from family and friends and celebrating their love for each other. As Sarah’s pain grew worse, she moved to a hospice facility, where she still made a point to thank every nurse and doctor she encountered with the little strength she had left – up until the day before she died. Grounded in her strong Jewish beliefs, Sarah believed only God would decide when her time was up. She passed away on Friday evening, during Shabbat, with her husband and father at her side. Sarah’s virtual memorial service was streamed on Temple Beth Ami’s website and was viewed by more than 700 people from all around the world. The service was followed by a private burial ceremony and two nights of virtual shiva, with hundreds of people participating from around the country each night. The family requests any donations be made to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance or Temple Beth Ami in Rockville, MD.
Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 27, 2021.