Bobby Brown wanted to be the first to tell family members of Bobbi Kristina Brown's death, a Brown relative tells PEOPLE

By Maria Mercedes Lara and Steve Helling
July 26, 2015 10:30 PM
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Before the world learned about Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death, her father Bobby Brown spent his Sunday connecting with family members to share the news.

A Brown relative tells PEOPLE that Bobby began contacting loved ones to tell them the news shortly after Bobbi Kristina died on Sunday.

“He is holding it together more than you’d expect,” the source said of Bobbi Kristina’s grieving father. “He knew it was coming. Of course he’s very emotional, but at the same time, he knows that Krissy is in a better place now.

“He is taking comfort in the fact that she’s with her mother, and that there will be no more sadness or pain. She is at peace. He knows that, and is taking comfort in that.”

Bobby traveled back to Atlanta from his home in California shortly after the birth of his new daughter Bodhi Jameson Rein, to continue his vigil by Bobbi Kristina’s side.

Bobbi Kristina’s death came nearly six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Roswell, Georgia, home on Jan. 31. She never fully regained consciousness and was being kept on life support following her near-drowning. In March she was moved to a long-term care facility in the Atlanta area.

In June, she was transferred to hospice after her condition “continued to deteriorate,” Pat Houston said in a statement on behalf of the Houston family at the time.

“We thank everyone for their support and prayers,” Pat, who is married to Whitney Houston’s brother Gary, said. “She is in God’s hands now.”

News of Bobbi Kristina’s passing was confirmed to PEOPLE via a statement from the Houston family.

“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away July 26, 2015, surrounded by her family,” the statement says. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”