‘Go Tell Aunt Rhody’

‘Go Tell Aunt Rhody’

Do you remember that song? It’s part of my childhood. It’s a sad song when you think about it: “Go tell Aunt Rhody…the old grey goose is dead…. She died in the millpond…standing on her head…. The goslings are crying….”

What brought this song to mind? Well, my father-in-law died last Saturday evening. The “health campus” (read: nursing home) where he was cared for is named Mill Pond. And his sons and daughters have done our share of crying in these last several days.

I’m a farm girl, so, yes, I know the difference between a goose and a gander. The song doesn’t exactly match this recent death in my family. (I know the difference between geese and humans, too!) But it came to mind as I sat down to write this posting.

The death of a loved one, even when it’s anticipated, is tough. Both of my parents are still living as is my mother-in-law, so this is the first experience my husband and I have of losing a parent. While parent and child roles were reversed in recent years as my husband’s parents have dealt with health issues, my husband is still his parents’ son. His father is still his daddy. And now his daddy’s gone.

I have no magic words to take away my husband’s pain. I can only listen to him, and hold him, and cry along with him. And I pray. I pray that I can love my husband the way he needs to be loved right now. I pray for healing of this great grief. I pray for good memories to bring a smile back to his face.

A book I pulled off my shelf to take home with me is Coping With Loss: Praying Your Way to Acceptance by Carol Luebering. Carol writes of the “season of grief” and offers practical help for praying your way through denial, pain, anger, guilt, and depression—to acceptance. I hope it helps us to navigate through our season of grief. Maybe it can help you or a friend who’s grieving, too.

photo: Matt Banks/www.freedigitalphotos.net


About the Author

Joan McKamey works for Liguori Publications.
  • Anonymous

    Joan, I am sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

  • Sdnobbe

    I’m sorry for your loss. I know it has to be hard at any age to lose a parent.