A flash mob for a well-loved murder victim

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Friday night, a crowd of 40 or so people filtered into the Food Lion in Montpelier. They hadn’t come to shop. They came to sing and dance in this relatively new, big grocery in a farm community that hadn’t had one before.

It was a flash mob.

They came to celebrate the life of the Beaverdam district’s first murder victim in a generation.

Sarajane Hakopian would’ve turned 45 Friday, if her ex-con boyfiend – police allege – hadn’t killed her in her own home not quite two weeks ago and took her van.

Sarajane Hakopian, her friends say, showed them how to celebrate life. Offbeat. Funny. Full of life.

“She was and will always be an inspiration to us all about how to live and enjoy life, said friend Allen Murray, who hosted the practice for the flash mob.

They had wondered how to celebrate Sarajane’s birthday so close to her tragic death. Why not, they reasoned, with one of her own songs?

“And let’s do a flash mob!” said one of her friends, Patricia Mayhew. She floated the idea, and the next thing you know, the Murray house was filled with folks ready to go, many Sarajane’s age, or the age of her teenage daughter, Molly.

“This is exactly what she would have wanted us to be doing,” Mayhew said. “Celebrating her life, and not be so sad.”

Daughter Molly led the practice. It was a song about bananas. “Bananas stand up straight . . . peel bananas, peel, peel bananas!” The song requires dancing, jumping.

After a couple of practices, they pile into cars and head to the Food Lion a mile or two away.

They filter in inconspicuously, checking items in the aisle.

And then . . .   (you have to check the video on this site to see how it worked out.)

“It was really, really great,” Molly Hakopian said. “That’s all the energy mom loved in real life. And this is like new for everyone else, but this is like what mom generated all the time.”

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