Weird JW response to death?

by serenitynow! 14 Replies latest jw experiences

  • serenitynow!

    So I just learned on another thread that there are adults who have never been to a funeral, not that that's a bad thing. Makes me wonder because I got dragged to one at 6, and I still remember how I felt, what song we sang- and who I was sitting next to (an adult, not my mother for some reason) who helped me to stand up to sing the song because I was so distraught. Is it a JW thing to make kids go to funerals?

    This thread, like others of mine, has to do with my mother. I love her, but the more I look back on my childhood, the more bizarre a person I think she is. My mother seems to have a strange response to death.

    My first experience with death was when I was six years old. An entire JW family died in a fire. They were friends of ours, my mom and the deceased mom grew up on the same street. Early Sunday morning with the AM newsradio blaring, my mother turned on the lights, shook me awake, said something to the effect of "they're dead, they're all dead!" My mother was never a parent who knew how to wake you up nice and calmly, is there any wonder I am not a morning person? So she gives me the horrible details- there was no breaking it to me gently. By the time I got to the KH that morning, I was so grief stricken I remember putting my hands over my ears when they announced it from the platform. I don't remember her talking to me at any point about my feelings or how I was handling it either.

    Fast forward to when I was about 13, a male childhood friend who may have been about 16 was killed. We grew up together in the same KH, he was best friends with the brother of my best friend. I was crying and I told my mother that he died and she said, "what, were you sleeping with him?" Mind you I was 13 years old, hadn't even kissed a boy. So no comfort from my mother.

    Those are just 2 examples. Does anyone else have experiences like these? Is it common among some JWs to have a strange response to death?

  • NiceDream

    I'm really sorry you had to experience that as a child. That would be horrible.

    My grandma died when I was maybe 8 or 10? I was too young to understand what was really going on. My parents didn't speak about death, and I don't cope with my mind people aren't "gone," they are still "here." I was at my Grandpa's bedside when he passed, but I still think he's "here."

    I think some JWs have a strange response because we're told how to respond: to remember that the person is sleeping and we'll see them soon. If they are wordly, we can hope to see them again too.

  • tec

    Wow, Serenity. I'm so sorry. I could never even imagine being woken up like that, and to those words. Most parents try to shield their children somewhat from death, I think. Or deal with it in a more practical 'part of life, but its okay to be sad' kind of way - with or without faith in something else.

    As for the response when you were 13? I don't even know what to say. None of this is normal as far as I know, but I have no JW family to compare it to in that relation.



    When I was a kid..

    I was taken to every JW funeral available..

    What the hell is wrong with the park or a zoo?

    Ya ,Sure..

    Lets go see dead JW`s we don`t know..

    I`m only 4..

    I`ll have nice dreams tonight..

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

  • serenitynow!

    Tammy, my mother was is good for name calling and put-downs. It is only recently that I have started to check her about that. I have told her in the past couple months that she is arrogant, and that the way that she speaks to us (her family) is demeaning. I don't even think she really notices it.

  • tec

    I don't even think she really notices it.

    She might not. In which case, good for you for having the courage and honesty to point it out to her.


  • no more kool aid
    no more kool aid

    Serenity, that is just horrid! I too have weird mother, father, death, funeral, life, stories. I wonder if we could all get a group discount on therapy? NMKA

  • man in black
    man in black

    Sorry to hear of your past experiences with death as a jw.

    When my Grandmother died 20 years ago, a sister pulled me up to the coffin (no, Grandma was not a jw, but several of the friends came to the funeral because they thought that she was "receptave" to the message.

    She told me to look at the body, and then told me how this was just a shell, and she was dead,,,,, nothing there.

    I felt like turning around and punching this sister right smack in the face.

  • JediMaster

    Wow, sorry your experience was kinda freaky. My first funeral was when I was 8 years old. My great-grandmother had passed away and they took us all great-grand kids to the funeral. I don't remember being at the KH for the talk but do remember the funeral home. And how crowded it was. There were a lot of us kids too. My sister (she was 6) and I were some of the very few kiddos that got to the the body though. I must say it was quite impressionable as I still remember being picked up by my dad, my sister by my mom, what we were wearing, the color of the gaster, what great-grandgranny was wearing and her pale face as she lay there inside the coffin. Uuuuuuhhhh, (shudder). My parents did ok at explaining it, but it was a bit traumatizing. Ever since, if I can, I just try to skip the funeral.

    Jedi Master

  • Coffee House Girl
    Coffee House Girl

    You know Serenity, I hadn't thought about it until you brought it up... but yes, my mom had unusual responces to death. She never cried once at her JW mom's funeral or her non-JW mother-in law's funeral.

    But once about 7 years ago a man in our congregation killed himself on a Saturday night. He was a very quiet man who was baptized a JW a few years prior. The next day was Sunday meeting of course, and so when I got to the meeting and saw Mom, I told her what happened...she started shrieking and of the elders tried to comfort her but she wouldn't listen to them. I sat through the meeting in the ladies room with her sobbing, I felt HORRIBLE for being so insensitive, I had no idea she would react that way. I still feel like an a** hole for that.

    She has not done that since, and subsequent JW funerals that I have been to since there has been no outward emotion expressed by her.

    I still to this day have no idea why that one brother bothered her so...

    It is clear Serenity that our mom's do have emotional damage done due to the mind-conditioning all of us have been through as JW's, but our mom's do not have an outlet to deal with that mental damage, and mine definately will not go to a professional. I am sorry for your experience,


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