The first time I saw an image of Peter Bello on Instagram, I thought to myself;’fine boy’. Last night when his picture was on several timelines on various social media platforms and #peterbello became synonymous with #RIP, my thoughts were of a different nature entirely. In an attempt to understand how he died, I followed the hashtag, this led me to eulogies and stories from friends and strangers alike. I found myself crying over the loss of someone I did not know, a person I never met.

One thing was evident, Peter Bello was loved by many. Do not misunderstand this as the sympathy the living have for the dead. None of these were random musings lacking substance. Instead, the words rendered were filled with meaning. People spoke of his character, his warmth, his meekness and love of life. In reading these words, I became aware that this young man enjoyed his life! He loved being a pilot, he loved being a photographer; he lived his life to the full.

Not many people say bad things about the dead, but sometimes there is no weight behind the words the say either. This was not the case with Peter, and it got me thinking, what would people say about me when I die? Have I left an indelible mark on the heart of anyone? Would my friends, family or even strangers speak of me the way people spoke of Peter? Would I be accepted into the arms of God? Would He say well done good and faithful servant?

Maya Angelou said;
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I did not know Peter Bello, so I cannot say how he felt and what his thoughts were, but I can tell you what he made people feel. Peter Bello obviously made people feel special, loved and important. He made them feel he was a happy man, content and grateful. He made them feel that he enjoyed his life’s work and knew what his purpose was. He made them feel that life was worth living, he said;“Best to explore while young”, he was right.

This is for Peter Bello and all the pilots and passengers who have died prematurely in Nigeria. For those who have lost loved ones due to the poverty of the aviation system in Nigeria. For dreams that have been cut short and lives that will never be lived. May God bring comfort to the hearts of those who mourn. May God accept the souls of the lost ones.

#RestinPeace #PeterBello

Image credit: Instagram