Yesterday, we lost my beloved uncle, Peter Lovemore, brother to Zanny, Charmian and Ronda.
At 66, he was far too young to have left his wife, five children, two and a half grand children, three siblings, 10 nieces and nephews and nine and a half great-nieces and nephews, and all their spouses who loved him greatly too. He left as well a bounty of loving friends and companions who will mourn him deeply.
Clockwise: Peter, Zanny, Ronda, Charmian
It is as if a very bright light has suddenly gone out. He was a vibrant, colorful and gregarious man who sprinkled life and those around him with his zest for just being and being here among us.
How incredible that most of these family members, including all five of his children, experienced those three sparkling days of our family reunion only two short weeks ago.
We are a diaspora, this family who have mostly left Zimbabwe. We occupy cities and towns all over the world, across four continents. Peter’s loss will be felt acutely by all of us, even when we were not in his daily life or he in ours.
His death and the pain we all feel, makes it even harder to imagine the impact of the loss of a loved one in a family community who live together and for each other. Especially when they are greatly younger, have yet so much to offer and may be number three or four or even ten, among a family, to die too soon.
Since our involvement with the work we do for the orphaned children of South Africa, it is impossible not to put everything that happens to us into their context. And to feel even more painfully, the world they occupy. Peter heralded the work his family is doing on their behalf.
For my part, I will imagine his rollicking laughter whenever my spirits need uplifting and will continue to draw great lessons from our many wonderful memories of him.