Hey TIME BANDIT- My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your dear friend back in 2004. This WT organization is SO heartless- it's leaders should be brought up on charges of inhumane crimes against mankind.
I had a very similar experience like yours. I was 24 years old and was on the stage at a Circuit assembly sitting getting ready like the other " regular pioneers " getting ready to go up to the mike and give my part. An older sister in her mid 80's went right up before me and gave her experience . As she sat down next to me she slumped back in her seat and slouched closing her eyes and putting her head on my shoulder ! She had a massive heart attack right there on the stage in front of 2,000 people in the audience. I quickly motioned to another " brother " my age sitting a few seats from me to help me carry her off the stage ( no easy task as she was about 5 ' 8 inches and 160 to 170 pounds ) and we layed her down back behind the stage on her coat as the other young brother tried to give her mouth to mouth . A JW registered nurse finally after 5 minutes rushed back behind the stage curtain and tried to get her heart going - but it was too late she was brain dead by the time her heart got resuscitated - too much loss of oxygen. In a week or so the non-JW family took her off life support and she passed away.
I ask myself the same question you ask yourself- WHY didn't I see through the veneer of the WT organization when that happened ? The elder who was giving the talk just kept everybody up on stage and we all still had to do our " parts " . I felt horrible for years that this " elder " didn't stop the talk then and there and say, " It's almost lunch time, let's just close the meeting with a song and prayer. " THAT would have been the appropriate thing to do. But, oh no, the " show " must go on. They did mention later as they broke for lunch that Sister Older one was taken to the hospital- but nothing else was said.
My theory on why JW's are always so calloused about people dying at meetings is because they are SO mind controlled to think that the WT information is SO much more important than even human life because they are taught " oh well, that person will be back in the resurrection " so they look at it as no big loss. Death is an " unreality " to many JW's because they think that they'll be " resurrected " - but in reality it's illusion. And then it causes JW's to be really insensitive and outright dismissive to natural human emotions of sadness and mourning due to the indoctrination of the WT Society. They don't mourn as normal people in the real world do because their brain neurotransmitters have been twisted and turned off to empathy, caring, and compassion. All due to the indoctrination. Very sad. They have no ability to feel TRUE empathy for themselves or others when someone close dies. Because they are told death is only temporary- not permanent - which in my opinion is a lie.
Time Bandit- I'm with you buddy, once again sorry for the loss of your friend, and the loss of my friend too. Take care, peace & love, Mr. Flipper