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