Woman of the Year 2019: Sarah Keast

Sarah Keast is a Chatelaine Woman of the Year for tackling grief—and the stigma around the opioid crisis—head on.

by
Sarah Keast

(Photo: Jen Linfield, Illustration: Maia Faddoul)

In August 2016, Sarah Keast’s husband, Kevin, died of a heroin overdose. His death marked the end of life as she knew it—but it was also a beginning. In the years since, Keast has worked to spread awareness about Canada’s opioid crisis and to destigmatize addiction. In the process, she built a community. It started in 2017 with her blog, Adventures in Widowed Parenting. But things really took off this year; in January, Keast shared her story in a heartbreaking essay for Chatelaine. And in October, she launched Lost + Found, a Toronto retail boutique and social hub that aims to redefine mental wellness. Co-founded with fellow young widows Alexie Landry, Shannon Culver and Janice Tsao, the brand aims to help people as they navigate life’s messiness, whether they’re contending with death, depression, illness, anxiety or divorce. Oh, and on top of all that, Keast is raising two daughters. It has been a “bittersweet and exhausting experience all at once,” she says. “I am amazed at the ‘post death’ me, because I can’t believe this life I’ve made out of the ashes of my former life.”

Meet all of our 2019 Women of the Year here.