I need some advice...regarding my jw dads funeral

by happyexjw 16 Replies latest jw experiences

  • happyexjw

    I could really do with some sound advice regarding my dad who is a long serving JW and his funeral arrangments.

    My Dad is in his last stages of cancer and has been talking with the elders about his funeral and with his family. Because a lot of his family are not JW's and that myself and my sister are both disfellowshipped. He has chosen to have his funeral at the crematorium and hold a memorial at the kingdom hall a few days after. However he has still asked for an elder to do his service which I and the rest of the family respect.

    This elder though was talking to my parents about a recent funeral he conducted with a close sister/ friend of my parents. He told them how much trouble he got into with work (hes a maths teacher at a secondry school) because he took the time off work. Totally inapropriate I think! Then he told them that due to his work he and the trouble he got into please can they hold the funeral on a Friday or Saturday to work around his work commitments.... I am so glad that he is looking after his sheep in a caring jesus like way and not putting worldy pursuits before his role as an elder...NOT!!!!!

    Anyway I asked my dad if he wanted to have a personal song at the crematorium when people are arriving, nothing sinful or immoral but a song that he really liked. My dad said that would be nice but the crem does not allow for personal music...he got this idea from his friend as mentioned aboves daugheters who mum also wanted a personal song, in fact it was not a song but a classical piece of music. She was told by the Elders that the crem would not entertain that and they would not play a piece of music that the loved one wanted. Again .... I have only been to two non believer funerals one was at the crem and I know for fact that support the dying persons wish even if its some heavy metal record. The other being a church funeral and all was wearing the football shirts of that persons favorite team, no clergy told them no!

    After speaking with my dad tonight I came home and looked up in the JW website what they view as appropriate for a JW funeral, and well I cant say I was shocked at what they put (Watchtower, February 15, 2009) This has left me feeling so left out. I wanted to say a few words about my dad at his funeral, nothing religious but celebrating the life of my dad and his infectious character who everybody loved. I fear that I will not even be allowed to touch his coffin because they will view it as spritistic and works of the devil.

    Where do I stand what ever our differing beliefs this is my Dad!! he created me and brought me into this world and cared for me, making sure I always had food on the table a roof over my head and clothes to wear. This will be my last chance to say goodbye to my Dad. Could they really deny me the chance to say a few words at my own flesh and bloods funeral?

    I have been to many a JW funeral, and the callous way they say goodbye (never remembering about the life of the person but preaching/ promoting their false doctrines and trying to recruit the unbelievers) never brought me any comfort. The two non believer funerals I attended was on the complete opposite, though funerals are a sad time, I could'nt believe how beautiful the ones I attended was. No one was celebrating the dead in a spiritistic way or playing loud music or commiting immorallity like the WTS says they do. It was about celebrating the life of that person and done so in a respectful way. I came away with so many happy memories about that person which lessened my grief.

    I woud really like to know if anyone has been in this situation, what happened and how they felt, I would like to know what is my legal right to remember my last goodbyes as something to remember in a positive way by saying a few words at his funeral. How I deal with my Dads funeral when I have no say because hes been brainwashed by a organisation and they are more important than his own flesh and blood.

    Please help me

    Big hugs to all x

  • Snoozy

    Hubby had a JW memorial service. His Mom and sister are still JW's. We had a memorial at her KH in the country where hubby sometimes went with her.. They didn't even have a microphone believe it or not!

    It was very impersonal. All JW stuff with a elder saying in his talk that (my husband)____ had a wonderful smile for everyone he met. That was it. After the Memorial I could not get out of there fast enough. I did it for him..he did it for his Mom. I did not pay the Elder anything, I did not thank him.

    All I had to say I said to my hubby before he died. I couldn't have care less about the rest at the KH..my grown kids left with me.

    Your Dad knows how you feel, that's all that matters. Play his favorite music for him now and tell him what you want to say now..you won't regret it. You may regret it if you don't.

  • Scarred for life
    Scarred for life

    Can you have a 2nd memorial "service" at his house and invite non-JW friends and family? Then you can play whatever music you want to and say whatever you want to. You even can have a time that you invite anyone that wants to to say something about what they remember about your dad.

  • Cagefighter

    The JW part of the funeral is going to suck no way around it. My advice is if you can't take control of the service at the crematorium. Ask your non-JW friends and family to understand it's going to suck. Go to a house or a semi-private place like a bar or park. Pop a cork and let the drinks and the memories flow and enjoy the support and sharing. I understand your delimemma.

  • Coffee House Girl
    Coffee House Girl


    I am so sorry. My sympathies to your and your family at this difficult time, I am facing a similar situation with my dad in kidney failure and lung cancer (not in final stages though). My only personal experience in this area is my ex-father-in-law's funeral- he was not an active JW at the time of his death, but he was baptized. He had many "worldly" relatives and friends- and they wanted to say a few words to eulogize him. They insisted on it the day of the funeral. His funeral was graveside, and the elder did say after his discourse that a few of Jim's relatives wanted to say a few words, they came up & said things about "Big Jim"- I have never seen it before at a "JW" funeral.

    Apparrently the aftermath was such: the elder who gave the funeral talk was very worried that he would "get into hot water" over losing control of the way the JW funeral was carried out....

    Bottom line....the guy is still an elder today so obviously no judicial action was taken to him.

    Perhaps an insistence on your DF'd families wishes to speak or play music at the crematoriam, more forseful insistance will help.

    Welcome & hope to hear more from you


  • flipper

    HAPPYEXJW- I agree with Snoozy to tell your dad what you want him to hear now- while he's still alive. JW funerals suck big time- because they even try to control FUNRALS and the information being discussed. It's like a marketing talk or sales talk promoting the cult. I don't know what legal rights you have- you'll have to speak with an attorney about speaking at the funeral. You may ASK the elder giving the talk if you may say a few words and see what he says. It's worth a shot. But definitely talk to your Dad hearfelt now. I'm so sorry you're going through this. JW funerals are disgusting . Hang in there, Sincerely, Mr. Flipper

  • AudeSapere

    Sorry to hear your dad is so ill. Being xjw makes a tough situation tougher.

    you wrote: I fear that I will not even be allowed to touch his coffin because they will view it as spritistic and works of the devil.

    When your dad has passed, talk to the funeral director (or whoever at the facility is in charge). Let them know that you need some private time with your dad so you can peacefully say good bye in private.

    JWs do not really have a way to celebrate a person's life with eulogies. You could ask a few people to join you after the 'talk' so you can all share good memories of your dad. Whether a dinner in a restaurant or ice cream at a midnight at a local coffee shop. If near a waterway, maybe a group 'ceremony' at the beach or a favorite spot of your dad's. Raise a toast, sing a song, do a dance, give a speech, whatever form of expression works for you.

    As far as the elder asking for a weekend 'ceremony'... THIS is where the JWs bragging about an unpaid clergy is detrimental to the sheep. With a paid clergy, someone receives a stipend and spends his full time being available to attend to the spiritual needs of the church. Without knowing this particular elder, I've known many through the years. Many have lost jobs because they missed too much time taking care of other people. Many of these very same elders have had to neglect their own families (good and bad events) because of having already spent so much time with cong members.

    My suggestions for you is to not take the elder's limitations personally. Good that he is trying to be responsible and keep his job while not neglecting your families need/request. Say your own good-bye's in private. Go along with the family 'service' and invite willing people to your 'celebration' or 'commemoration' and make it as real and personal as you can. If any JWs attend, they may be surprised at how loving and touching it can be.

    Again, I'm sorry for your hurt and feelings of isolation at this time.


  • AudeSapere
    Snoozy wrote: Play his favorite music for him now and tell him what you want to say now..you won't regret it. You may regret it if you don't.


    Honour your Dads Request..It`s His funeral..

    You can say a few words at his Wake..

    You can let who ever else wants to say something,do it there..

    I find JW funerals repulsive..So I understand how you feel..

    ....................... ...OUTLAW

  • freeflyingfaerie

    just want to give big hugs to you!!

    with my love,


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