Taking my JW parents to a worldly relative's funeral

by boyzone 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • boyzone

    On Wednesday this week, my wonderful cousin James died of cancer. He was only 38 and had a beautiful wife and young family. His parents (my aunt and uncle) are naturally devastated and want all the extended family to attend his funeral which will be held in a church this coming Thursday 25th Feb.

    As you can imagine, my JW parents have refused to go to the church service even though they will be at the gathering afterwards. I've no idea how my aunt and uncle will feel about this and now isn't the time to approach them about it but I'm pretty sure that they'll be deeply offended. James was their only son and meant the world to them. For my parents to refuse to attend his funeral I'm sure will be a bitter pill for them to swallow and they won't understand the decision behind it.

    Any suggestions as to how I can approach my parents and get them to reconsider? I'm concerned that a rebuff like this when emotions are running so high will end up in a rift that'll be difficult to heal. I've also gotta tread carefully with my dad as he's extremely hard hearted and inflexible when it comes to "upholding Jehovah's standards".



  • garyneal

    Here are some of the answers I got when my JW in-laws went to my father-in-law's father's funeral at his church.


  • flipper

    BOYZONE- Try to appeal to your parents " authentic " personality, not their " cult " personality. Just explain to them that family is important and that your aunt and uncle need the support of all family members right now- no matter WHAT beliefs they have. You might ask the rhetorical question to your dad , " If you or mom died , would you want my aunt and uncle not to attend to support you ? " Throw it back onto their conscience- make them think outside the JW box. Just my 2 cents. Or you could appeal to their humanity or what a bad witness it would give to others in the family if they didn't attend. JW's are VERY concerned about appearances. Just some added thoughts from my wife too. Good luck, Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • LucyA

    You could give them an alternative the alterative we give to our mother is she doesn't have to actually go into the church but can sit in the foyer or outside to support the Family. However my fathers not JW and expects some lavel of respect from her which is why they came to this deal.

  • hamsterbait

    The most recent Witchtower magazine on this subject says that if a witless chooses to attend the service for a relative, nobody should criticise their decision. Same with weddings.

    Your father is refusing to keep up with Jehovahs Chariot and is not up to date. Does he doubt the direction of the Gibbering buddies? is he truning apostate by hanging on to old light? (Yes they actually used that in the early 80s)


  • boyzone

    Hi All and thank you for taking the time to reply. How to handle this delicate situation has given me some restless nights recently so I appreciate your help.

    Garyneal - Thank you for directing me to that thread, I haven't seen it before and there's alot of relevant information on there, I'll have a read.

    Mr &Mrs Flip - Thats an excellent idea thank you! I'll try that rhetorical question you suggested, it might just get them thinking. Also you're right, appearances are everything, and their no-show at the church will definately NOT give a good witness.

    LucyA - Thank you for that suggestion, both my parents are JW's and not only have a fear of entering the church but of even entering the grounds. They didn't even attend my brothers wedding because of this. At the time my brother and his new wife were so happy to be married that they didn't allow my parents decision to marr the occasion, but I don't think my uncle and aunt would be so understanding.

    Hamsterbait - Thank you for that, do you know which WT thats from? I'll search the WTCD to see if I can find it.

  • nugget

    There was a wtchtower October 15 2007 ph 10 onwards Responding to your conscience. paragraph 14 says not to judge.

    Question from readers 2002 15th of May Would it be advisable for true christian to attend Wedding or Funeral in a church. Can attend as observer.

    Both articles are weighted towards not going and are taken if you have a wordly husband who wants you to attend etc. there is some wriggle room but if he is keen not to go he will use it as justification.

    The way I would approach it is that this is a fine opportunity to demonstrate shared humanity, by attending the funeral then anything they write in the condolance card will carry more weight and the parents would later be in a more receptive mood to listen to the message. What is their main priority here, to alienate others from the truth or to show their love and sympathy at a difficult time for the family. We talk alot about how people's circumstances change and they become more receptive to the truth, however it is also true that these life changing events can have long lasting impact if handled incorrectly. By being stiff necked we could actually be stumbling them. This is a conscience matter and when this is the case we need to think of others not of ourselves.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Seach the WTCD for: funeral church

    2002 WT QFR says it's a conscience matter and is referred to in a later article.



  • Snoozy

    My JW in laws came to my Mom and then my Dad's funeral services but they were in a funeral parlor not a church. A minister gave a LOVING talk and prayer and the whole time the JW in laws snickered and whispered to each other during the service. I was really hurt. They were mocking what the minister was saying. I was glad to see them come but angry and hurt by their actions..

    If your parents won't be supportive/respectful it may be better if they didn't go.

    Often they have a meal or get together afterwards in the home of the relatives of the deceased....maybe they could go there and pay their respects ?


    ps..So sorry for your loss..especially one so young.

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