My husband, son and I faded around 4 years ago after 40+ years as JWs. For a couple of years nothing much was said to us by our JW families but they did slowly lessen the contact with us. Then just over 18 months ago my father (PO of his cong) started to really question us as to why we weren't going to meetings anymore. When we mentioned some of the issues we had with the WTS, the 'apostate' word started getting used by him. In December 08 my father visited us, in elder mode (shirt, tie and briefcase) to 'sort things out'. When he left he handed me the following letter from my brother. (I have erased names)
This letter stabbed me to the heart as my brother and I had been very close. I had been giving him and his family a lot of help in many ways including financially, over the last 5 years and now he just coldly totally cuts me off by letter.
On the 16th January last year my father gave me an ultimatum by phone - I had 3 hours to decide whether we were going to return to JWs or my family would cut me off. I rang back and told him we weren't going back and was then subjected to 1/2 hour of abuse, anger, lies etc and he told me I was satanic and as far as my family was concerned I was dead. And I have never seen or heard from them since. I seemed to spend most of last year going through a grieving process as it was if my entire family had been wiped out, but without the support that is usually available to a person when a tragedy literally wipes out their family. The pain is still quite raw and many times I have had dreams where my family wakes up to the lies of the WTS. I have lost my father (my mum died in 2005), my sister and her family (3 children, now young adults) and my brother and his family (2 young children).
I think the most painful thing of all to me is that I am not df'd or da'd so my family have chosen to do this to me. Loyalty to the WTS over family has been ingrained into them very well. My son who is an only child now has no contact with his cousins, not to mention losing all his JW friends. He was in his mid teens when we left and was never baptised yet he has been cut off by all our families as well. He now has no grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins.
The JW policy of shunning family is a barbaric, evil practice that the WTS needs to be held accountable for.