I am sure many of us have had experiences while we were active JWs where we were often discouraged from talking to worldy or disfellowshipped family members regardess of occasion or circumstance. I was always told not to communicate with one of my cousins who, along with her husband had faded back in the 90's and are now off celebrating Christmas, birthdays and such. She has been the victim of many a snub and all out unkindness from various family members, including me. I couldn't invite her to my wedding and I never called her or talked to her for years because I was afraid of catching flack from family members that are still "in".
A few days ago, I figured I was faded out enough to contact her via Facebook. I told her I was sorry about not inviting her to my wedding and I informed her that I would be heading her way up to BC very soon and would like to meet up with her and her family. What surprised me was that there wasn't an ounce of bitterness to be found in her and she is extremely happy. Its just so striking that even her own sister (who we call Elder-ina) always made her out to be miserable, irresponsable, disorganized and every other pejorative in the book when she couldn't be more happy!
I am still working up the nerve to contact my aunt, my ExJw cousin's mother, who has been disfellowshipped since the 70's for Idolatry and Apostasy and has recently been outed, in an ugly way I might add, by her JW daughter as bisexual. She for sure has the black mark upon her and I still have many of my JW friends and family on my Facebook page and I have been threatened by my uber-dub mom that she would sell me out and get me df'ed if I contacted her! It's just so terrible to think that the same woman she is treating so badly is her own full-blooded sister who she grew up with! It makes you wonder where is all that brotherly love that these drones keep talking about.