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Carlien Govender's blog on Wednesday, 28 November 2012:

Tessa with granddad Tessa aged 2 with Dad in 2010,
a year before he had a stroke
which crippled his left side.

Last week we received the phone call we all dread. A close family friend called to tell us Seelan's dad had passed away suddenly.

The rest of the day whirled about us, while we reeled with the horrible shock and sorrow. We hurriedly made decisions and found a flight for Seelan to go home. We tried to communicate the news to others who needed to know, including Tessa. And my heart ached to see Seelan so sad.

On the phone with his mother, I could see her grief reflected in his face as he listened to her and tried to comfort her. I am immensely grateful that he could go home and be there for her - he was back in time for the funeral and is now spending a few extra days there to help her with the many practical things.

And even though this has been such a deeply sad time, those words of comfort which Seelan first spoke to Mom on the phone have been encouraging me too: Dad is pain-free now, and with God!

I really hope that my over-active imagination is more God-inspired than me-inspired but it does comfort me to picture Dad where he is now in heaven. And given the events of this past year.. that picture is more vivid in my mind's eye.. because I imagine him not only awe-struck by real intimacy with God now, but also being reunited with his eldest son Christopher who died as a boy, and being the first one of us to meet the little baby who was born to heaven earlier this year.

As precious and comforting that is to me in my small thinking.. I think the even more wonderful thing for Dad is the freedom he has to truly worship God now.

I honestly don't know much about his story, he was such a quiet, humble man and would never draw attention to himself. But from what I've heard, I understand that his life was hard in many ways. By the time I knew him he already knew Jesus, but for most of his life he didn't. I remember him standing with us in worship services, but since he was so new to the 'Christian culture' and didn't know the songs (and couldn't read the lyrics) he didn't sing along. Still he stood - committed and steadfast. I wonder if he felt out of place sometimes.. maybe he wasn't always sure of the right way to 'be' amongst all the Christians. (And I hate that this is a reality of our church culture... it's sometimes hard to fit in if you are new.)

But now for Dad ... oh, the freedom! Free of bodily pain and the paralysis he suffered he can now stand and dance and delight in God's presence.

But even more: I am sure there is no 'proper way' to be in heaven! He doesn't have to worry about saying or doing the right things.. he knows the right words! He knows the songs to sing.. the songs that just overflow out of his heart as he joins the masses before God's throne. Dad can be with God, speak with Him and worship Him just as he is.. totally himself and totally free. What a joy!

I praise You Jesus and thank you for looking out over the earth and stretching out your hand to Dad some years ago. I am so glad He is grasped so dearly and safely in Your hands now. You are good!