Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A shock and a tragedy

Got some news today that really sent me in to a spin - Peter Hagström is dead!! Cancer has yet another victim.....
He died in mid-January, the funeral was not that long ago. I feel shocked to say the least, depressed, sick in the stomach. Sad....

I first met Peter when he interviewed me for the position on the Australian New Zealand Friendship Society board - that was 8 years ago. Up until last spring we were both board members, and have both been members of the World Association. We have had many weekend long meetings, telephone conversations and much email contact over the years.

We did not always see eye to eye but we always managed to have an open conversation and despite our differences I found he was always a kind and caring person. Culturally we clashed every now and again - he could be gruff, short and abrupt - quite typical of Swedish men of his generation. And because I would take offence he was always very fast to say he didn't mean to offend and kind of apologise for his manner. A generous man.

Peter has been on my mind constantly since we came back from Canada - with me being away for so long he was forced to step in as President and take over my role. Of course it happened to be during a very turbulent year for the Friendship Societies as they went on to "divorce" MyPlanet after many years together. I felt bad about leaving this on Peter's plate as I knew he was reluctant - but I had to put myself and my own family first. Even in retrospect I know I could not have taken the role back on.

The year went on and I had very little contact with Peter, none towards the end of the year.
I was so upset to learn the news today and my heart goes out to Rosemary and the boys - Peter always spoke about them with much pride. I'm so sad I missed the funeral.

Sandee said today that when someone is in your mind a lot then it is time to get in contact - so true these words are. I vow never to hesitate again

The Friendship Society goes on, now under the name of The Curious Explorer. I will be in contact. I wish them well.

Life will go on for Peter's family too - despite their loss. But it is close to home and I know all too well how hard it is. It is a shock, a tragedy, a huge loss. I can't get my head around it.

R.I.P. Peter

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