Oh Happy Day is not a good song choice for a funeral

Humorous moments often happen by accident in my family…My maternal grandfather was a Baptist minister turned alcoholic. He left my grandmother and six kids way before I was ever thought of by my mother and father. God knew I was coming eventually, but they didn’t at that time. đŸ™‚  Part of me is sad I didn’t know him and the other part is glad. I do remember however when he was on his death bed. My mom and her sisters went to visit him, offered him help from addiction, etc. It was a sad ending because he never gave up drinking even after receiving unsolicited forgiveness from his children. The funny part is for some reason my mom and aunts thought they should sing a song when he was ill in the hospital. Amazing Grace would have been appropriate since they were mirroring God’s grace at this time, but NO…they chose “Oh Happy Day”, which later on we all thought was hilarious. They didn’t mean anything funny by it at the time but that was one of those accidental humorous moments in my family.

I’m not going to give a list of ways people can cope with grief today. I’m simply going to say that in my life, I’ve noticed people grieving in a variety of ways. It is helpful for us all not to judge anyone who is grieving.

Some people get stuck and don’t move on, don’t go out of the house, etc. for a while. Some people move away, move on, or run period, etc. Some combine staying still for a while and then running, etc. Some are forced to seek survival, some seek therapy, some seek drugs, etc.

I’m a complete dork and I love PBS. While watching a PBS special the other night on the Roosevelt family, I learned that Theodore Roosevelt lost his mother and wife on the time day within a four hour period. His wife had just given birth to their first child four days earlier. When he heard the news, he came home, ask his sister to take care of his daughter, and he ran to the West. He couldn’t even speak their names. Many people judged him but he grieved the way he needed to and survived the grief in the end and was able to raise his daughter in the end and got remarried. Many people judged him I’m sure.

People who are grieving don’t need judgmental family members and friends, they need supportive ones even if we don’t understand their choices.

Have an Oh Happy Day,



  1. Brenda Roper on September 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Even as I was reading, I had to laugh again. Love you, Mom

  2. jess on September 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm