The sadness that 21-year-old Leandra Trotman felt this morning as she boarded a flight bound for Jamaica was nothing compared to the shattering pain she would endure just a few hours later.
Leandra and her father, 56-year-old Sylvester Trotman, said their goodbyes last night because he had to work this morning and would not have been able to see her off as she left to pursue studies at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
Having arrived safely, the young woman was in her dorm this evening when she received the devastating news from her mother Joycelyn Trotman, that the man who saw her as his world had collapsed and died moments earlier at Belle Gully, St Michael, just a short distance from home.
“One of the last things Leandra told her father is that she loved him, and he said, ‘I love you too sweetie’. That child was his world.
“He loved that daughter immensely. She was his heart. This is so sad. I am shocked,” Trotman’s cousin Ivan Foderingham recalled as he spoke to Barbados TODAY at the scene.
Trotman, an employee at Cost U Less, was on his way home from work and had stopped to talk to the shopkeeper at Kaieteur Bar when he died.
His elderly parents Winfield and Carma Jordan were among the first to arrive at the scene and the mother insisted she would not leave.
Relatives attempted to console her as she cried openly over the loss of the son who lived with her.
“Sylvester gone so suddenly; so, so suddenly. He was so close to home, but he did not make it. He was so close to home. . .,” the grieving mother repeated.
No one appeared more bemused than the shopkeeper who had a difficult time grasping what had happened.
“Everything happen so quick. I can’t believe it,” he said.
The shopkeeper, who asked that he not be identified, said it was about 6 p.m. that he and Trotman were engaged in conversation. He was sitting at the shop’s door and Trotman was standing outside. They had spoken for about two minutes when the 56-year-old went quiet.
“He just fall down and I was calling for him and I ain’t hear no answer. I tell the rest in the shop to call the ambulance.
“I kinda shocked to see a man in front of me talking one minute and then the next thing you know he there on the ground dead,” said the shopkeeper.
Meantime, Foderingham told Barbados TODAY that he, the deceased and Carma were together last night, as they travelled to St Peter to take Leandra to her mother’s house.
“This is a big shock to the family right now. He was not sick as far as I know. He had issues some years ago but that was sorted out and he was able to work. Up to today he was at work. He still has on his uniform,” Foderingham said.
The dead man’s brother Carlisle Trotman also left the island today, and was given the heartbreaking news while in the United States. His nieces Krystal and Natheisha were also visibly shaken, especially Natheisha, who Barbados TODAY understands spent some time bonding with her uncle last night.
Residents described Trotman as a friendly and quiet neighbour who loved gardening and spent a lot of time at it.
Members of the St Barnabas Anglican Church where Trotman was a member of the choir and driver of the church bus, gathered at the scene, offering words of comfort to the family.
Church warden Michael Beckles said Trotman was an active member. He attended service every night last week during the annual patronal festival, Beckles said.
“He was very helpful in the church. Whatever the choir has, everything he took part in. He was a member of the church fellowship,” Beckles added.
Trotman was the fifth person to have died suddenly in Barbados this week.