Saturday, August 23, 2008

Death of My Father

On Thursday, when our mission team was preparing to leave Tanzania, I found out that my father (David Allen Broward) had died the day before. We continued to the airport, and I traveled with the team to Dubai. From Dubai (in the United Arab Emirates, north east of Saudi Arabia) I got a direct flight to Houston. Sarah and Emma arrived a few hours later.
The funeral will be on Tuesday, and friends and family will be able to come to a local funeral home on Monday night for "visitation." As of now, Sarah, Emma, and I are scheduled to be here in Houston for two weeks, but I may have to stay one more week. It depends on how long it takes to get things settled here.
All of my Dad's siblings (two sisters and a brother) and my Mom's cousin are already here. Lots of other family will be coming over the weekend. Two people from church have already brought food over. We have lots of help and support.
My Dad was 64 years old. He seemed to be in good health before. He walked 3 miles a few days before he died. He was shopping at a book store and passed out (possibly because of a brain aneurism). When he passed out, he hit his head hard enough to break or fracture his skull. He died from bleeding in his brain. It seems like either the fall caused the bleeding or the bleeding caused the fall - or maybe some of both. Either way, he was brain dead in 24 hours.
He was kept on life support for another day and a half, so that his organs could be donated. This was important for Dad. He wanted people to use every part of him that could be used. He donated both kidneys, his liver, his cornea, his pancreas (used for a medical study), and quite a bit of skin (probably to be used for burn victims).
For right now, I'm just kind of numb. I intentionally pushed everything aside while I was traveling. I just didn't want to grieve in public at the airport, but the grief taking its time in coming back to the surface of my life. I broke down a little when we drove into my hometown and I realized that I'd never see Dad here again. But that's pretty much the only time I've really cried since right after I found out. I guess there will be plenty of time for that over the next two weeks.

I'll post more later about the funeral. Please don't send flowers. Dad wouldn't have wanted that. I'll post later about some scholarships and memorial funds the family has set up. That is definitely how Dad would have wanted people to show their respects.
I'll also post later some of my memories of my Dad.
Thanks for your prayers.
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