This April 21st marks the Fifth Anniversary of death of Brooke Lahr PVI, Honduras, Aug, 2010 – Oct, 2011.
Having served with PVI in Honduras, Brooke went to work for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in Cuernavaca, Mexico. While on a personal holiday in Acapulco she suffered a fatal vehicular accident, April 21, 2013.
Brooke brought an infectious happiness and buoyancy to her PVI year in Honduras. Her “Yes” did not waver from her first interview at the Chicago Passionist Monastery Discernment Weekend. She added a welcome vibrant spirit and voice to Melissa, Chanel, Molly, Rosi and Andrew, her exceptionally dynamic and dedicated PVI team serving in Talanga at San Diego Church and its aldea missions along with the Casa Pasionista.
It is appropriate for PVI to honor Brooke’s memory first, through gratitude to God for giving us her remarkable spirit. Also we would do well to continue offering supportive prayer for Mark and Colleen, Brooke’s parents along with her family and all who continue to feel mystified by the mystery of her too short life. Personally, I continue to engage her regularly in PVI’s on-going life and service by asking her to pray for us. Having walked the PVI Journey I’m confident she will help us. Te queremos mucho, Brooke! Que duerme con los angelitos!
Fr. Lucian, C.P.
From her community:
As her friends and roommates, we couldnt let today pass with spending a few moments together to think about our dear friend, Brooke. We can’t believe it’s been five years since we heard that laugh or seen that smile. There are no adequate words to describe Brooke Lahr. Her larger than life personality and compassion for people made everyone around gravitate towards her. Her life was guided by her values and principals, which she stood by in both her words and actions.
As a PVI, she was the epitome of accompaniment and was often the example for our group as to what the word meant. She quickly integrated into the community and made herself present in every relationship. She was bold. She was fearless. She was authentically and unapologetically herself. This approach made her stand out to our community. She had the determination and strong will to be invited to play volleyball with a men’s local team but kindness to win over the love of one of the oldest community church members, Dona Manuela.
Brooke had the uncanny ability to connect us all. She was the first to start a dance party, suggest we have a game night, diffuse an argument, or console a homesick roommate. She made sure that we were a family, that we spent time together and that everyone was included. The memories we have of Brooke are too many to count. For Chanel, the memory that stands out it her memory is one of dancing bachata to Prince Royce at midnight on 95th street and Park Avenue in New York. For Molly and Melissa, it was singing the wrong words to “Demos Gracias al Senor” at the top of our lungs after church every Sunday. For Andrew, the fondest memories were made sitting on a stoop, having juice and cookies while talking to the neighbors about their day. For Rosi, no matter where she and Brooke were together, there was no better feeling of always having each other. These memories demonstrate Brooke’s deep connection to those around her. She was always present and made sure that every moment together was memorable.
It’s so hard to believe that five years have passed since we lost Brooke. We often wonder where she would be and how much she would have already accomplished. She is still so present in all of our lives. No matter at which point we are in in our lives, or where we are in the world, she leaves us little reminders that she is still with us. In those moments, whether it be driving through Paducah, Kentucky, passing a sunflower field, ordering horchata at a restaurant, or hearing Prince Royce on the radio, we reconnect with our housemates over text message. Brooke’s memory has remained ever-present in our friendship and in our lives. We remember the things that would make her laugh, or the way that she might frame an observation of injustice, or even sharing with her where we all are now. We miss her incredibly. Her loss left a gap in our friendship, one that has not eased over five years, and wont be eased in the future. It is through our memory of Brooke that we keeps our friendship alive. Five years later, she is the glue that holds our house together.
– Chanel, Molly, Melissa, Andrew, and Rosi