I am writing this blog from the US as I have come back for my Father's funeral. My family warned that he was failing and I received permission to come back to say Goodbye to him. He died before I left PNG, but the rest of the family held the funeral until July 2 so I could be here for it. I am currently in Puyallup WA staying with Bob and Byrna. I am visiting family and getting some shopping done.
HIs death hit me harder than I had expected it to. He was 95 and had been failing the last year, so it wasn't a surprise, but it is still a loss. Grieving is done elaborately in PNG, so that may have encouraged me to express my emotions more. I went ahead and taught my classes but did not feel the need to hide my tears during church. Generally when a family member dies, a staff member or student are gone about a week as they attend the mourning or "haus krai" I did have a nice visit from the students from the Highlands area, which is several days journey from the campus. Several of them had not been able to go home for funerals, so had sympathy for my situation.
I did miss much of the last week of classes but got my grades turned in before I left. This is semester break, but I will miss the first week of classes traveling back to PNG. I am teaching a class on World Religions for the first time, so have been glad to have the chance to buy some books and videos. I was able to go to a used bookstore here in Tacoma and get some nice books.
My dad, Paul Klavano, was a strong supporter of my work in Papua New Guinea. Even though It meant I saw him less often, he pleased about the work I was doing. I am very please I had home leave last summer so was able to spend some time with him. We had communion during the funeral, which for me was a nice reminder that the past, present and future are all tied together in God's hands.