How can I define my sorrow at the passing of Lis Sladen?
I did not know her, except through the character of Sarah Jane Smith. But Sarah Jane was my first TV crush. She was also like a friend of the family. I welcomed her into my home via the television on a regular basis. I was a kid, watching Dr. Who in America via PBS reruns.
I was sad when she left the show. I rejoiced when I saw her again in The Five Doctors. Years later, I found out she had made K9 & Company, so I searched for years, trying to find a copy. When I did, I watched it and I fell in love with her all over again. I kept hoping the series would get picked up and that there would be more episodes with my dear Sarah Jane. It never was, of course.
Then the new run of the Doctor Who started, and eventually the rumor surfaced that she would be in an episode. I was awash with joy. When I watched School Reunion, I cried several times. Tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of empathy. I have teared up every time I’ve ever watched that episode. And I always will.
Then came Sarah Jane Adventures. I watched every episode as soon as I could find them. I loved that show as much as I loved Doctor Who, for me, it was still Doctor Who, just without the Doctor (usually.)
And now, she’s gone. There was no farewell episode to say goodbye to the character. The character still lives on, but she’ll never make a reappearance, she’ll never be seen again. There can be no good byes when she dies or retires or anything. The character will simply fade away from the Universe. But she will never fade away from my heart.
I’ve read (and listened to) many remembrances of Elisabeth Sladen. They were written or said by people close to her. Those who knew her say that Ms. Sladen was every bit as wonderful, brilliant, clever, fantastic and amazing as Sarah Jane ever was. Perhaps even more so. I never got to meet Lis but now, more than ever, I wish I had gotten the opportunity.
Fare thee well Lis Sladen, fare thee well on your next Great Adventure, where ever it may take you. And Sarah Jane, give our best to the Brig and the rest when you see them. We will miss you Sarah Jane, you were loved beyond any measure.