The family of a Florida newlywed is devastated after he died in a freak water skiing accident on his Caribbean honeymoon just three days after marrying his bride.
Nate and Mariana Kuhlman tied the knot and then flew to St. Lucia to celebrate their nuptials when he suddenly passed away, according to a pair of GoFundMe pages.
“We never really know when our time will come. Nate’s death took all of us by surprise and just took our breath away. By God’s grace, we are OK. It’s so hard and painful, but we are walking each day one moment at a time,” wrote Nate’s devastated mother, Heather Kuhlman, on Facebook. “We know you are hurting too, and our hearts go out to all of you.
She added, “My son is in the arms of Jesus.
Details of the horrific tragedy were not provided, but Heather added that she flew to St. Lucia four days ago, when she was able to pray over his body before an autopsy was conducted.
Nate and Mariana, who is originally from Los Angeles, both studied at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Ohio, then moved to his home state of Florida.
A pair of GoFundMe pages to help the families have raised more than $100,000.
“Nate was a wonderful husband, friend, son, and brother in Christ, according to one of the pages titled “Nate Kuhlman.
“He was able to thoughtfully encounter every person he met and those who had the blessing of a relationship with him would be able to tell a list of stories detailing what a fun, kind, and adventurous soul he was.”
The page added, “Words cannot describe the heartbreak there is for his story and for his family. We kindly ask for help to assist for funeral cost and travel of the family.
The second fundraiser, titled “Kuhlman Family,” made a similar request.
“The donations will help cover the expenses of last-minute plane tickets to St. Lucia and back home, immediate passport issuing, transportation, accommodations, meals, funeral arrangements, Mariana’s needs and anything else that comes up,” according to the fundraiser. “Please also pray for the families, for their strength and that God’s presence fill their hearts.
On Monday, Heather wrote on Facebook that she is returning to the U.S. with her son’s body.
“Please keep us in your prayers as we bring Nate home,” she posted. “Once further arrangements have been made, we will let you know so that we can pray together.