J-dub elders throwing a wrench in funeral services for my nephew

by mimimimi 40 Replies latest jw friends

  • mimimimi

    As I said in my earlier post, my nephew took his own life yesterday evening. My sister is a die-hard JW and this religion is her comfort more than ever right now, so she accepts everything they throw at her. The elders will meet this evening and decide whether they will allow a memorial service at the KH. If they do, they told her that whatever elder she asks to do the service will have to examine his conscience to determine if he can do so. My ex-brother in law is disfellowshipped, has been for the last 16 or so years and they have been divorced that long and he is livid. He said he is still a minister and could do the service himself. My sister says their son was not his dad's religion, so that would not be appropriate. Honestly, he is Wicken now and I think many would have issues with that. But I think

    The elder suggested to her as well that she rent a place where they could have a "talk" and then a meal. If that were to happen, then I guess disfellowshipped dad and disfellowshipped cousin would not be welcome, as well as brother who was never baptized. SHe is trying to count costs on this; does not have much. My daughter-in-law and I are offereing to pay the extra for the funeral home for a memorial service, but I have not been able to talk to my sister yet. Then we could either rent a place for a meal or have it at our youngest sister's house, which is quite large, but we know it would still be packed. I would love to see whatever happens done to where the JW's have no control or say whatsoever.

    I just talked to my sister (mom of nephew) and she said her middle son (one never baptized) said if there was a JW memorial for my nephew, he would not come. He and his father are planning a memorial service of their own. I wish we could bring all of this together somehow.

  • brotherdan

    mimimi, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can only hope that somehow in this tragedy that your sister might be able to see the truth about this organization. They are so concerned with the policy that they don't even consider the pain that their actions can be causing people. There does not need to be an "examination" to see if a funeral can be held at a particular location. How sad would it be for someone to deny a person a funeral in the way that they desire because someone was in such a bad spot that they ended their own life?!?

    I hope that your sister and her husband are able to have a memorial of your nephews life in a way that honors him and provides some closure in all of your lives. I can understand why the dad would be livid. But he needs to make sure that this stays a solemn occasion and treat it with respect. Emotions are obviously high right now and hopefully they can take a step back and make sure that this funeral honors your nephew.

  • mimimimi

    Brotherdan, Thanks so much for your words of wisdom. My sister has heard back from the elders and they have told her to read an article in a 2002 Watchtower about these situations. I think they want her to make the decision that it should not be held at the KH. So she is not at home where she has all her bound volumes and Watchtower CD's, so she is online trying to find it - I guess on the Watchtower website.

    I am grateful for the comment that "they need to take a step back and make sure that this funeral honors your nephew". That is so true and I am going to look for an opportunity to bring that to the fore for both my sister and her ex-husband. It is not a time to allow bitterness (on the part of ex-husband) to mar this situation.

    Those of you who are praying people, please keep my family in your prayers, especially my deceased nephew.

    Mimi- Ginny

  • mouthy

    I knew a Brother who killed himself THEY WOULD NOT ALLOW IT AT THE K H ( Funeral)

  • blondie

    In 45 years as a jw, I never saw a service in the KH for someone who had committed suicide; a service in a separate building, yes. I have been to some in a separate building and an elder gave the service with permission of the BOE. DF'd family members attended.

    I can understand why the non-jw and df'd family are considering a separate service. In the same circumstances I would do that rather than be subjected to a canned jw outlined service. I remember some jw services where the speaker stumbled over the pronouncition of the deceased name and obviously knew nothing a bout them. Around here they only read the obituary; I suggested one family put in as much info about the personal life and things they did. The brother edited the obit........

  • mimimimi

    Yes, Mouthy, I have known of that before. THen I know of at least one where the woman was on nerve medication and over-dosed and they had her funeral at the hall because they said she was not in her right mind and not responsible. Who is in their right mind when they commit suicide?

  • Hadit

    What a terrible situation. An added dimension of stress to a tragic situation. How awful - I'm so sorry. This is not the time for differences to matter! Love, respect and empathy should be the forces here. Egos need to be let go and maturity and wisdom relied on. I hope that it can be the case.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and your nephew.



  • pirata

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss.

    There were 2 suicides in the last few halls I was in. Both had the memorial talk in the Kingdom Hall. Fortunately, at least some of the Elders in those halls held Jesus-like compassion over pharisee-like organizational directives.

  • OnTheWayOut

    These things are terrible to try to accomodate and sooth people with. The JW's make no room for doing that for outsiders. I know of "memorials" for suicide victims at the Kingdom Hall. The books clearly tell the elders not to be so judgmental toward a "disturbed" person, but they still leave room for them to be just the way they are told not to be.

    The best that could happen would be for the brothers to refuse to cooperate with anything. Then your sister would have no choice but to have a "secular" funeral. But they will probably cave and get some elder to do the talk at the funeral home. She could get anyone she wants, though. It would not have to be some elder or even a man, but I bet your sister caves and lets the elder do it. It's really sad.

    If, by chance, you find yourself in the least bit influential, I would suggest a family member for the service, ideally a male who knew the guy well, perhaps a JW but just not anti-JW. Not the Wicken father, as Mom would never go for that and no JW's (her support group) would stand for that. The odds of her considering that are low. Try to encourage her to get someone who will, seeing as it ain't in the friggin' Kingdom Hall, actually talk of the young guy and his life and his ups and the joys he did bring to others. Out of the hall, they really have no business saying anything about what is said. They will say something if it were a minister of some other belief, but not if it were an unreligious ceremony about the deceased.

    I might push for the father and son to come to the funeral home, even if it were for a visitation and not for the "talk." I might push for the event at the home and say that they are invited and JW's will understand they are family and will just avoid them.

    But I know you probably won't be able to get so much help through to her. They will railroad her and Dad and brother will be upset, your sister will be upset, you will be upset, the elders and the JW's will be upset. Even in all that, if people try to focus on the mourning, maybe they will get through it.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    The June 15 2002 QFR they are talking about places the decision on the Elders.

    She asks ...... they decide ..... That's what the QFR makes clear, so tell them to read it.

    They should have the services for their members in their churches, the same as every other church does. If it makes their church look bad .... they should have looked after their flock better.

    They failed. It's up to them to man up and accept some responsibility.

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