Grieving in JW Land

by cultBgone 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cultBgone

    While experiencing a seemingly annual time of grief over the deaths of my sister and mom, a few other posters mentioned they experienced similar episodes linked to family deaths. I've known some in my jw family who have this shared experience as well.

    I know that grief as an emotion must be dealt with, that is, allowed to happen and be experienced, or we end up stuffing the emotions inside ourselves. And any emotions we've stuffed and hidden will always try to get out in the body's normal course of healing itself. That may sound odd but I'm thinking of our emotions as a type of energy and so they require a release of some sort.

    And it seems that anniversaries of deaths tend to trigger the release of those emotions.

    I began wondering why such intense feelings would still be released even decades after a death event, and then I realized that jws are never truly allowed to grieve openly for the death of a loved one. If you show extreme sadness, it belies your faith in paradise, etc etc. In the borg we were actually taught to stuff our feelings and pretend they don't exist.

    The same would hold for deliberate shunning of children and family members. There is no way maternal or paternal emotions can not be in conflict internally when shunning is enforced.

    Might this be a contributing factor to the large number of depressed ones?

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once

    Though what you say is true for many JW's obviously its not true for all. The feelings you are having of missing the dead are not unique to JW's who repress grief. I think many of us do not grieve because we cannot bear the finality of death. It took over a year before I broke down and wept for my mom's passing. Not because of JW thinking, but because it took that long for me to step back from surviving and coping and taking care of family left hanging by the loss. It finally made its way to the fore. It was so healthy to do that. In the car the song Photograph by Ringo came on and I litearlly did a primal karaoke version on the highway tears streaming down my cheeks. (All I have is a photograph and I realize you're not coming back any more.)

    We remember mom all the time but its true, that day in january is marked in our minds for its horror and finality. Love you mom and I celebrate your loving and bitchy nature!

    Remember the good Cultbgone. I feel ya!

    JW depression comes from knowing there is no way out of the pressure of being a Witnoid, study, meetings, service, selling magazines, boring assemblies and conventions, peer pressure from people who dont even have an internal pressure to do these things. The insincerity is overwhelming. And everyone judges you by your highlighter activity!

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Peace and love, dear cultBgone.


  • cultBgone

    Thank you for the kind words. I apparently failed to put into words the message I intended To write. I'm not going through this right now, but have had this discussion with other ex dubs and thought I'd put it out to share. And perhaps this his is something that women experience more than men, I don't know.

    But my thought was that the borg trains us not to have strong emotions but to fall back on their platitudes about the resurrection, paradise, and "they brought it on themselves." I guess it's like emotional cognitive dissonance.

  • NotNew

    It's hard to lose a loved sorry

    I recall being taught that we were not suppose to lose anyone in death... so god never put in us the ability to cope with death!?

    Really? Why not...death is connected to life...I just witnessed the death of my MIL...UNPLEASANT and very emotional for my wife. She is reminded of it everyday as I am...getting over it I suspect will never happen...learning to cope is possible.

    At 59 I am comming to grips that I will some day die...never believing that was possible except in accident or mom is 82 and someday she will pass...still believing in god saving her through Armageddon.

    Sorry I don't have any words of comfort.


  • JWdaughter

    Hi, I'm sorry for your loss.

    I think it is worse for JWs than just not being able to grieve properly. With my non JW dad dying, my mom just went into an alcoholic stupor for a few years. Everything she knew said that he died "knowing" the "truth" and rejected it. I also think a big part of the problem is that she doesn't truly "buy" it herself, but can't/wont articulate her issues out of loyalty to the organization

    My mom and dad loved each other a lot. He put up with her being a JW and she put up with him rejecting it. I know she worries for him still cause her hope for the future conversations are always qualified by the fear of what will happen to him.I don't even know the official WT teaching on it, but I do know that death is something that weighs very heavy on my mom for every one of her family members, especially the her (JWish) brother.

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