A "sister" I know is in her late 80's. Her friend was 90 and on her deathbed. (Just a week ago.) She told the hospice worker to tell her friend not to go to sleep (die) yet, hold on! because Obama just cried "peace and security" at the UN. The 90 year old died the next day. Both of these women have been JW's for over 70 yrs. Does this speak to old age? Broken dreams? Desperation? or the intense progamming? What do you think? There seemed to be hardly any mourning espressed by this "good friend" for her pal of many years once she died. I think they were both true believers. What have you encountered in JW's as they get older?
Is this desperation or common? What have you seen?
I should imagine there would be few things more devastating than to "wake up" very late in life and realize one's life has been devoted to a religion that is a complete sham.
We know from developmental studies that successful transitions across the lifespan require a certain degree of personal security, "belonging" and sense of purpose, regardless of religious beliefs.
It would actually be extraordinarily hard to not only realize one's religion is a sham, but to verbalize this realization to anyone.
Old age is for life reviews and taking stock of all that is precious - not for confronting realities about new "truths" and "falsehoods" - unless you've got diazepam on hand to quell the sudden psychological disruption.
The few i had dealings with years ago just wanted to go to sleep and wake up in the paradise.
What would it matter at that age? Personally I'd just want the pain and suffering to go away, not have to live throught the so-called Great Tribulation.
My Catholic grandmother at age 96 was thinking about religious stuff. Not long before she died I heard her ask this question: "I wonder if everything they told us is true?"
My mother, her daughter, was disgusted--"She's too old to be asking questions like that."
I'm not "OLD" old, 63, been going to the KH for 61 years. When Jimmy Carter was President, he said Peace and Seurity quite often. Of course I started thinking the end may be in sight, but it wasn't. I am a believing df'd witness. I believe the bible and MOST of what is being taught at the KH. But unlike most of JWs, I got a college education, learned to play classical guitar and violin, didn't put any faith into dates, whenever dates are mentioned or stressed, I don't pay much attention. I love life and living, have very good health, no mental issues (except some stress occasionally). I've learned that living for Paradise is a waste of the good life we have now, enjoy the beautiful things in this life. The rest will get here when it gets here. My sister's MIL is 98, a pioneer most of her life, she was sure she would see the New System and not die...she's in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and doesn't know anyone, no one from her Hall visits her. My mom died 4 years ago at age 89. She knew she would never die...She was convinced we would walk into Paradise together. She's dead, and I'm still here, getting older by the minute. I don't know what the future holds, but whatever it is, I'm sure it will be just what it's supposed to be. Take care.
Does this speak to old age? Broken dreams? Desperation? or the intense progamming?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Incidentally, I'm hearing more "out loud" grumbling from JWs in their 60's who expected to be petting pandas by now, but instead are forced to work well past retirement age because they have virtually no pension, due to "putting Kingdom interests first".
The number of really PO'ed JWs is only going to go up as the 50-somethings who were laid off from Bethel 5 or 6 years ago approach their retirement age and discover that the $few hundred per month they will get from Social Security (after 20 or 30 years of prime wage-earnings years spent earning $000 in Bethel) won't go very far.....
I genuinely groan inside and mourn for all the elderly ones I know who are still being duped and fleeced more than ever. It would be a death blow to tell them TTATT at their stage in life.
I've just tactfully explained to 2 or 3 of them that the Org has got more money now than it's ever had in its history, so they didn't have to worry about pledging anything to it.
Sounds like you did it the right way.
Always Busy - Even before Jimmy Carter said Peace and Security, I remember an Assembly at Yankee Stadium in the early 70's, that day the headlines on the New York Daily News had those exact same words (I don't remember what the story was behind the headlines). So of course, one of the speakers just had to work that into his talk and of course a few of the folks in the audience who had the paper started waving it around like it came straight from Jesus and they were touch by the heavenly spirit or something. The words peace and security have been around for centuries, whenever they're used together it sends the JWs into a frenzy.
No religion on the planet could exist without the desperation of the feeble minded. That is, after all, the target audience no matter what the faith.
It is impossible to make a call on this particular case as I don't know the type of people involved, but I will say that there is a cognitive displacement in the minds of those watching a loved one die. So much of this could just be the inability to let go and the refusal to accept the tragic outcome yet to be... a “grasping at straws” if you will.
Furthermore, I was not aware that Jehovah's Witnesses allow Hospice in the first place. Hospice is the only legal means to make a person comfortable for death. In my own family, my mother took the matter of my father going into Hospice to the congregation in which the answer was that it was a “conscience” matter BUT to keep in mind that anyone that aids in the death of another would be considered a murderer in the eyes of god. So no Hospice.
Also, every death we see causes us to fear for our own mortality. For someone in their late 80s, it's an inevitability, possibly within a decade. You know how time seems to speed up as we get older? Well, at 80-90, a decade is nothing.
So there many reasons why someone who is older would cling to the delusions of a faith when face-to-face with the issue of mortality and death. Older people and the subject should be given a LOT of leeway regarding the subject, not only because of the conflicts I mentioned, but also because the earned that right to be bat-shit crazy if they want to. At that age, they mourn more deaths than celebrate births... So I honestly wouldn't just let them be.