By Ayeotan Shola
Pat and Gary Houston this morning at their home in Atlanta shared intimate, heartbreaking details from Bobbi Kristina Brown’s final moments.
A close group of family gathered as Bobbi Kristina’s death seemed imminent, including her aunt Pat Houston, Pat’s brother Ray Watson and her sister-in-law Donna Houston, cousin Meeta Brown and family friend Wanda Shelley.
As they waited for a minister to arrive, they read together from the Bible, specifically from Psalms 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
The Psalm concludes, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
After the reading, as the group was repeating “Hallelujah,” Bobbi Kristina took her last breath.
Donna Houston marked the time of death was 8:17pm Atlanta time, and one family source told ET it was as if Bobbi Kristina’s mother, Whitney Houston, was there calling her to the other side. It was very peaceful, quiet and beautiful, the family said.
This core group, spearheaded by Pat Houston, have been watching over Bobbi Kristina since she was first hospitalized on Jan. 31, traveling 60 miles to be with her every day, the family source said. They would do Bobbi Kristina’s hair, bathe her and oil her body, turning her. This team’s main focus, the source told ET, was to make certain Bobbi Kristina was never alone. The source told ET the family is devastated by this loss.
Just days before being found unconscious and unresponsive, Bobbi Kristina and Pat Houston had discussed Bobbi Kristina going to rehab. Bobbi Kristina had agreed to go as long as Pat would be the one to take her there, the family source told ET, who said that Bobbi Kristina was clear she did not want boyfriend Nick Gordon there.
Family friend Tyler Perry was also at the house this morning. Perry is helping with the funeral arrangements. The funeral is tentatively set for Thursday, July 30, in the Atlanta area.
Because Bobbi Kristina never had a prom nor a “Sweet 16” party, the family source told ET her funeral will be a celebration, calling it “the Sweet 16 she never had.”
Houston, who died in 2012, is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey, where Bobbi Kristina will also be laid to rest. Her funeral service was held at her childhood church, Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, and was a private, invitation-only event, though portions were live-streamed online. Speakers included Houston’s cousin Dionne Warwick and Kevin Costner and musical performances by Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey also attended.
The service lasted nearly four hours, and closed with Houston’s recording of “I Will Always Love You” playing as her mother, Cissy, and Bobbi Kristina walked with the casket out of the church.