Life was going on for my family and for I like for anybody else. Two of my elder sisters had already left the nest. They went to live in France. Dad was working as a painter and mum as a housekeeper. Both of them working for the same company.
One weekend they decided to take the whole family to the beach for a barbecue before going back to school after the summer break.
My dad was not driving but a friend of his and my brother-in-law, who was in holidays in the Caribbean, took all of us to the beach in 2 cars.
We found a nice space to put all the stuff, food, drinks, etc.. and we started to enjoy to warm water, the sun, and the sand. Everything was just perfect!
I was playing in the water facing the horizon when I heard a commotion behind me. As I turned my back I saw my brother and my brother-in-law pulling my father out of the water. They dragged him on the sand as he was not conscious.
They tried to resuscitate him but he was not moving at all. I remember hearing some people who had gathered to watch the scene saying in my patois: « This man is dead! ». My mum heard this and said: « Sure he is not dead.. ». She was calling him by his name and was trying to shake him but not a single sign of life.
The emergency eventually came and tried their best with their tools and their knowledge but the man was gone. Everybody was shocked. My mum could not stop crying and shouting. I was watching all this and I was terrified. I did not know how to react but what I was feeling in my heart was very painful.
My father was only 48 and I was only 10. That was on 3rd September 1989.
His death was so sudden! Nobody was expecting this outcome. He was not sick and apparently he died because of a too large difference of temperature between his body and the water. Who knows ?? What I know is that he came with us alive and smiling but only his body came back home. He was gone!
Following this, I went through different emotions: anger, unbelief, shame, emptiness, fear of death and so on but today I’m so glad I went through this.
The Lord allowed this event to happen because he had good plans for me and for his glory. The Lord was with me on that beach in 1989 when I was struggling to keep myself together. But I did not know he was there.
Today I can say with the Psalmist:
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23 v 4
Always remember that:
The Lord is always with you even if you do not feel his presence. Even if you are going through a very difficult time like a disease, death of a relative, loss of a job and so on. Whatever it is, the Lord sometimes allows them to happen so we can grow in our relationship with him.
Don’t give up because of circumstances!