On Monday evening, on their way to dinner with a friend and her young son, my dad fell and hit his head. Not surprisingly, he insisted on going to dinner and they had a wonderful time. At the end of the meal he admitted that he had a headache and agreed to get checked out at the ER. Shortly after getting there, his headache increased and he soon slipped into a coma. Emergency surgery took place and he was kept in a medically induced coma for the best chance at recovery. My mom wrote:
The neurosurgeon had explained to me that Bud's brain bleed from his backwards fall was extremely serious and he would put him in an induced coma for 24 hours, but couldn't guarantee what his recovery would be if he woke up. When he did not come out of the coma the next day, I pleaded over and over with God around 3 .a.m. to take him to heaven. I knew he would be very sad without his brain power. I don't remember stopping before being asleep. I learned in the morning that he died at 3:30 a.m. during that very time I was pleading with God. This has given me great strength and I feel so blessed.
The outpouring of tribute and support through emails and Facebook has been overwhelming. Some of you got the chance to meet my dad when my parents visited us and I had him preach on at least one of those occasions. God used him in great ways in 43 years of full-time pastoral ministry in 4 churches, and in a number of interim roles in the last 19 years. He used to joke that he wanted the Lord to take him as the crescendo of a powerful sermon -- passing away while on a mission trip in Bali is the next best thing! As one of my friends put it, "He died with his boots on"!
Tami and I are heading over to the coast to gather with my sister's family and all of our kids this weekend to process, reminisce, laugh, and cry together. I'm sure that it will be an important time as we all mourn his loss. Pastor Gregg will be leading our Worship this Sunday in my absence.
Thank you for your continued prayers - especially for my mom, Donna. She is being well cared for by their Balinese congregation and will be flying home on Tuesday. While she has been doing well, I know that she's been running on adrenaline and sooner or later things will hit her hard. The 20 hour travel alone back to Seattle may be challenging.
We'll be returning to the Valley on Tuesday. Thank you for all that you have done in this difficult time.