I need someplace to vent, so excuse me but I am very angry at the moment.
As most of you know, my father in law committed suicide last Sunday (the 16th). His death hit Nina hard, but I've discovered this week that my sweet little kitten of a wife has the heart of a lion. When the elder who oh so arrogantly sat on Bill's judicial committee (and rode him mercilessly the past 18 months) called in mock sympathy, Nina tore him a new one. Word spread quickly and no other Witness called. Last night a Witness friend whom Nina has known for nearly 30 years, and was very close to Bill, stopped by with a cheesecake and announced that she wouldn't attend the memorial service because she was going to drive to her daughter's house to see her sonogram (her daughter also owns a spa, so this woman will be getting a manicure, pedicure and whatever else goes on at spas).
Nina wanted to have a memorial service at Bill's retirement home because he had many friends there and they were the only people who really cared about him. She didn't want some outline talk at a KH with JWs in attendance sending out fake sympathy. Her attitude is that the Witnesses didn't give a damn about him, sat in judgment on him, so the memorial service would only be for family and friends who Bill cared about, or who cared about Bill. She also wanted those who knew Bill best to say a few words about Bill; what he meant to them, how he impacted their life, etc.) and that included the residents of Bill's retirement home. One of the residents very humbly and quietly asked her if she would mind if he sang a song. He was a close friend of Bill's (not a JW) and Bill's death was close to his heart. Naturally Nina was touched and agreed.
I just got off the phone with our best friend (he's a JW elder) who told us that he not only will not say anything at the service, but he will not even attend. Why? He has several problems. 1) we won't let him use the funeral outline talk (approved by God's spirit directed organization); 2) we are allowing "worldy" people to say anything they want; and 3) we are letting this "worldly" man sing Amazing Grace at a memorial service. "Don't you know that's a religous song from Babylon the Great?" he said. This is what I got angry about: "I can't believe you would let this go on at Bill's service when he is in heaven (Bill partook of the emblems). Do you want to get him angry? I can't show up with this type of nonsense going on." He said he would attend only if "this guy" sang this horrible religous Babylonian song before or after he spoke.
If you knew my friend, he is a good man and he would never talk this way about anyone let alone someone he considers family. But he has talked this over with the CO (he's visting them this week) and these are clearly the CO's words. He also told us that he would not come to the internment (it is for family and he was absolutely included) because he "forgot" and had a previously rehearsal (for what?) during that time. Nina and I talked it over and she called him back and told him that this was her father's service and she would do as she wanted and not what Jehovah's Witnesses wanted.
Oh what a loving organization full of kind, gentle and loving people! Bill was in this congregation for 3 years. When he was in the hospital, no one called or went to see him. When he was depressed and lonely no one invited him out or asked after him. After 50 years of service he made one mistake and was instantly DF'd. No one would even look at him, much less talk to him. Now he is dead. These same people turn up their nose at a memorial in his honor. Jehovah's Witnesses are exclusive.
Oh how evil and wicked "worldy" people are in these last days! Bill lived in his retirement home for 18 months. When he was in the hospital, his friends at there called and were concerned. His friends were worried about his drinking. When he was depressed and lonely, he was invited out; he was included. A regular group was started, because of Bill's lonliness, to go out and eat regularly. He was popular and was asked if he wanted to run for president of the resident's association (he died before he could). After 54 years of marriage, he made one mistake and these evil and wicked worldly people understood it was because of caregiving his wife's Alzheimer's for 10 years on his own; they understood and did not sit in judgment on him. Now he is dead. These same people have approached us and very humbly and graciously asked if they could say something about their friend, so many in fact that director met with Nina to expand the service and to determine the order of people speaking. These people are inclusive.
When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me." Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?" The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." -- Matthew 25:35-41