Mourning a child

by dissonance_resolved 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • dissonance_resolved

    I attended a funeral today for a small child, whose death was an unspeakable tragedy. It was my first non-JW funeral and indeed the first time I'd ever been in a church. I couldn't even comprehend what the parents must be going through. The church was packed and as everyone entered a pianist was playing Mozart's variations on the theme commonly known as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Everyone was sobbing. The services were full of rituals, readings and responses, hymns and prayers, two beautiful remembrances of this all too short life. Everyone was grieving together, supporting this devastated family, surrounded by soft candlelight and the sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows.

    As the services ended, the pallbearers carried the tiny coffin down the aisle, followed by the parents, their family and then all in attendance. It was heartbreakingly sad, and yet it seemed like this is what has been done for thousands of years, a sorrowful rite of passage, a funeral procession to lay a little one to rest. When there is nothing else you can do, it made sense that there would be a ritual to follow, something prescribed to just help them take the next step. It was a profoundly moving experience.

    I couldn't help but think if I were in their shoes and my child passed tomorrow. A Kingdom song, five minutes review of their life and the remaining 25 minutes reminding us how we ought to use our last waking moments to go out in service more. I'm not saying I would go out and join another church, but this experience made me realize that there's a world of human experience out there which I have never had access to, and which is beautiful and wondrous.

    Give your kids an extra hug and kiss tonight if you can.

  • Tylinbrando

    I had the same experience as you described last year. It is something that will stay with me always. In like manner I have attended funerals for military, police and firefighters and the procession was also incredibly moving. It made me realize the numbness I have suffered my entire life as individuals passed away and were exploited by the JWs, including both my parents.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • earthfire

    I'm sorry about the little one passing. There's something so much more tragic when a child dies. I too think that the funerals that I've been to outside of the JW are so much more respectful to the life now gone and to the families.

    Years ago when I was still a kid, my great grandpa Hank died. He and my great grandma were Catholics and so the funeral was at their church, my dad and uncle were asked to be pall bearers for their grandpa. They both said no and since we were in a church my dad made us sit way in the back. Even as a kid I was surprised and ashamed at the disrespect my dad showed.

  • Simon

    Yes, they don't use a funeral as an excuse to try and promote their faith and take advantage of the sorrow to gain a few converts.

  • LisaRose

    JW funerals are so pathetic. God forbid they should celebrate someone's life and mourn their death. The only important part of someone's life in the eyes of the Borg is the fact fact that they were dubs. And you aren't even allowed to mourn, just a quick send off and Watchtower commercial to give a semblance of being normal, then back to slaving for the organization, why mourn when you will both be petting lions soon! I went to both of my parents memorial services, both truly sad, it could have been about any one. I am almost hoping I will not be invited to the services for my one brother and sister in the organization. They are 14 and ten years older than me, and odds are they will go first. I guess I would go, if invited, if only for my nieces and nephews, but if they won't talk to me while they are alive, is it so horrible I don't want to go?

  • Shador

    So sorry to hear about this, dissonance. For a parent to have to bury their child is one of the saddest things in the world. My thoughts go out to them.


    Also, I agree. JW funerals are such a disrespectful affront to the dead. They turn the whole thing into a recruitment drive.

  • dissonance_resolved

    Lisa, that is so true. It made me wonder how a child's funeral would be handled. They couldn't present the information as if it was the child's beliefs. Whatever the approach, I can't imagine that it would be in any way comforting. The service today, though painful, was very comforting- it honored the child's life and caused everyone to reflect on the difference that child had made in their own life.

  • dissonance_resolved

    Earthfire, I'm sorry about your great- grandpa. Your dad and uncle were trying to do the right thing, but it just shows how misguided JWs are when it comes to the important stuff.

  • whathappened

    So sad. Nothing is worse than the death of a sweet little child.

  • LisaRose

    I have been to several services where the circumstances were truly horrific, including one where a mother killed herself and two teen boys. While there is no way to make sense of these senseless deaths, there was comfort in acknowledging the circumstances and being able to discuss their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their challenges. While this woman did a horrible thing, it was acknowledged that she suffered from mental illness, that no doubt played a part in what happened. The husband and father was able to talk about his family and discuss all the good things about their lives. He was given support and comfort from everyone. If this had happened to a JW, there would probably at best been a Watchtower bragging session disguised as a memorial service for the boys, and probably not even that due to fear of "bringing reproach on Jehovah". It would be expected that the whole thing would be talked about as little as possible, and everyone would be expected to just move on with their lives, and pretend it hadn't happened. And the sad thing is most dubs would never really understand how sad this is, many have probably have never been to a service that was about the person more that the religion.

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