So sorry for your loss Emma.
My situation was similar in that I "lost" my mom when I left the witnesses over 20 years ago. She died about a year and a half ago. That's when I really began to grieve, not only her death which was devastating but the magnitude of the whole JW thing.
When my mom was dying, I got to know some of her close dub friends. For the most part they were very kind and helpful. After she died, I called one in particular because I was grieving so hard and I felt she would understand. She was very gentle but she did say that she felt sorry for me because I did not have Jehovah and the hope of the new system. Even though I was at my lowest point ever, I knew I would rather go through intense and debilitating grief than be back in that horrible, claustrophobic religion.
When I look at the witnesses I was around during that time, I see that many of them cannot grieve openly or honestly. Many of their honest feelings, such as anger, jealousy, competition, lust, have no outlet so must be suppressed. They are supposed to "rely on Jah and his organization". Instead, they are sick and overweight, they take loads of antidepressants and sleep meds, and have many illnesses such as CFS and fibromyalgia. They are tired and conflicted. And still they continue on, going to meetings and trying to "do more and better" to please Jehovah.
I know there must be a different and better way to live.
grief & jw's?
So sorry for your loss Emma.
Lyineyes and Emma,
My heart just aches for you both. Take care of yourselves, and grieve for as long as you need to. No words of wisdom or experience take away the pain. My thoughts are with you.
When Dak my son died. I RAGED inside like a wounded beast! I closed down and became uncommunicative and unexpressive.
The comments I endured by the so called Brothers & Sisters made me sick on my stomach literally. Telling me to imagine Dak had traveled to a distant land and I would see him soon. I found more comfort from the people who were from traditional Christians faiths, they came and prayed with me and just held me and let me cry.
They grieve like everyone else. Unfortunately for me and my family we've lost too many to count.
And each time, with each loss there is true genuine grieving.
When I was around 19 or 20 my JW BF lost his grandfather. He was very close to him. His grandfather was not a JW but rather a Catholic. I remember people telling him that this was not a bad thing but rather a good thing because NOW he would see him in paradise. My BF was torn up over whether to be angry at the ignorant JWs or to buy into their theory. He felt that he could not cry and held it all in. It was not until years later when he had his nervous break down that it all came out. He had spent years morning the loss of the loss. I believe part of what caused him to spiral out of control was the fact that he had buried so many feelings that it all finally came up all at once. I agree w/ many here who have said that JWs feel as if they are doing a disservice to their faith, if they allow their true feelings of grief to show so they keep it all hidden.
Also, my mother who is still an active JW lost her mother several years ago. I know she never morned it properly. I begged her to see a grief therapist, but she would not do it. My grandmother was mentally ill for many years. In her good sane years, she was a JW and a strong one. I know my mother always held the hope that they would step through Armo together and my grams would be sane and they would skip off and get to know each other. What made it horrible (at least in my mother's eyes) was right before she passed, we found out from her doctor that she had taken a blood transfusion a couple of months before she died. My mother was devastated. Then a heartless, brainless, empty shell of a human being called an elder told my mother that there was no promise that she would see my grams in the new system. Well just the same as I am not about to pull someone's loved one from heaven should they have the belief of there being a heaven for their dead loved ones, I am not about to crush my mother's dream of seeing her mother in the new system. Needless to say, I kicked the man out of my mother's house w/ a few chosen words.
You can grieve a loss but to really grieve you have to really love. JW's have an invisble wall around them the does not allow them to love unconditionally therefore I wonder at the depth of the grieving. From my experience JW's don't grieve - if they are good Witnesses. They surround themselves with only other Witnesses in good standing therefore, when a person dies it is seen as one of two things - a) a temporary loss since they will be resurrected after Armeggedon and b) if they are of the annointed they are in heaven already. So what is there to grieve? No contact with disfellowshipped ones so they don't count - a good JW will have already grieved that loss and moved on without a thought to that person.
*** g76 3/22 p. 28 How Far Should Christian Mourning Go? ***
Then, too, expressions of sorrow that go to the extreme are unfitting for Christians. The apostle Paul wrote to fellow believers: "We do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who are sleeping in death; that you may not sorrow just as the rest also do who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) A Christian may indeed be sad. But he should not become hysterical and act as though everything were lost. Others should be able to see that he has a marvelous hope, a hope that truly strengthens him. The grief of true Christians should be balanced, in fact, overshadowed by hope and God-given joy. They should endeavor to reflect the attitude of the apostle Paul, who said of himself and his associates that they were "as sorrowing but ever rejoicing." (2 Cor. 6:10) This attitude aids one to avoid the weakening effects of sustained mourning.
The composite evidence of Scripture shows that mourning over dead loved ones is proper. But such mourning should not go to the point of calling into question, in the minds of others, a person’s faith in God’s promise to raise the dead. All extreme forms of mourning and idolatrous rites should be shunned. Also, weeping that reflects disagreement with God’s judgments or is contrary to his express commands would likewise be wrong.
Firstly - my condolences to those who have posted about their loss - a loss is a loss regardless of the time that has passed.
In view of my experiece - and my family - I have wondered the same thing. I lost my son over a year ago and in that time have had no e-mails/calls from any JW ( just 2 e-mails from one -good- friend of 30 years). I knew and helped a lot of people during my time as a JW (I'm not df/da). Family are JW's. My father is still an elder and not one call from him or my mother. I have seen them twice - briefly - since his death and there has not been one mention of my son. I'm not sure JW's can process death well. After his death I certainly would have given anything to believe in an earthly resurrection, and it proved to be very painful that I could not. Maybe the belief of a resurrection hinders the grieving process - I'm not sure, I don't see why it should any more than other beliefs. I'm not sure that it isn't something to do with the denial of being part of this world/system, and psychologically/ideologically living in the 'new order'. Some dictatorships (eg Nth Korea) have lilttle evidence of cemetries - even war cemetries - and in their nationalistic rhetoric tends to deny death rates (beyond what would seem to be a normal cover-up of the economic situation) as a way of reinforcing racial superiority. It's just a guess. But certainly, the coldness makes grieving difficult - but maybe stonger in the end. It has helped me see why I felt uncommitted to the 'truth' after many years and has spurred me on to look at alternative points of view.
I think at least some "protect" themselves from grief by avoiding any deep connections with any body. Anything that makes 'em nervous--they just disengage, whether it is "suspect behavior" or somebody getting sick.
she felt sorry for me because I did not have Jehovah and the hope of the new system.
This is so cruel! Any chance to give a "witness" and try to shove you toward their god. They are so twisted.
Restrangled, thank you for your gentle words.
A big hug to Roski and Balsam; may you be comforted.
Sammi, I agree with your thoughts on unconditional love; it's so unnatural. That was one of my breaking points; I saw my son baptized as a teenager and knew I could never shun him. I felt my decision as to the truth was pretty much made right then.