How Do You Handle Death?

by minimus 57 Replies latest jw friends

  • Prisca

    Hey, I'll write to Lady Lee's mum too. I think you're a great woman Lady Lee - you have a great depth of compassion and empathy, and always have a healing word to share.

    I think you chose wise words for your father's eulogy. My father is estranged from my sister and I, and I doubt I would have anything good to say about him. He's a JW, so his funeral will probably be a full-on Dub affair. Well, he's 77, so I probably don't have long to wait until that happens.


    First off: a huge thanks to (iiz2cool) - I had a chance to voice some of my feelings last night.

    Lately, lots has gone on, but I have to admit, when you've lost 2 of your best friends in a short period of time, it sure as hell hurts, and I had wondered why I was feeling so 'out of sorts'.

    Should be obvious. But sometimes it isn't.

    On December 29, 2002, a very close and dear friend of mine (Robert) died in his sleep, of a brain aneurysm; on October 4, 2002, a woman beyond description (Nina) died of ALS (Lou Gherig's Disease). Both of my closest dear friends, died. I had nothing to replace them with.

    Coming to this forum, initially helped.

    But lately, I have to admit, I was feeling out-of-sorts (for many reasons). Only a year before that, my father died, and another very close and dear friend (a father figure), died the day before my father died in November 2001.

    I don't know.....perhaps I am having a delayed reaction to it all.

    There are nights where I am here at home, wishing I could call/e-mail either one of them, but I can't. I miss both of them: Robert & Nina, terribly. Robert lived around the corner from me, and considering all that he had lived through: a freakin' brain aneurysm took his life. I miss him.......terribly!!!

    Last night, last week, amongst other things: it all hit me, and I felt alone.

    Funerals outweigh Weddings, as I have gotten older.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    ((((Ray)))) Sometimes it takes a bit of time for the grief to settle in. We need to do that grieving. I'm not surprised that you could not do it at the time. Too much all at once for most people to process especially when they are sudden deaths.

    Thinking of you my friend

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    You know Prisca the words for the eulogy just came to me. I wanted honesty but his wife and my brother were both having a hard time with his passing. His wife was suffering from dementia and had to be institutionalized and was crying for him. My brother was grieving the loss of a father he naver had. I needed to be kind for their sakes. My father was never a JW and had separated from my mother before she got involved so thankfully I didn't have to worry about the JW thing. Before the service a cousin I had never met before came up to me and started talking about how wonderful he was. I couldn't listen. I had to stop her and told her he wasn't wonderful to the people he lived with. The she tried to say I must have misunderstood his love. OOh my I almost lost my temper (yes I can do that) But I took a breathe uttered a sentence of truth and she stopped.

    Truth is a powerful tool even at a time like that. I think one reason I agreed to get up and give the eulogy was because I didn't want someone else getting up and saying a bunch of lies about what a nice man he was. They would have had to carry me out in a straightjacket if that had happened. or handcuffs.

    Funny thing is I did that eulogy but when my girlfriend died I knew I could not interpret the memorial talk without breaking down so I sat with her family instead.

    I think too that having been suicidal for so many years I don't consider death an enemy. It is a release.

    My girlfriend was released from terrible pain of her cancer whne she died. The family was released form the torment of watching her mind and body wither away.

    When my father died he was released from the fear he had of dying and the intense hatred he carried inside him. The families were released from the torture he submitted us all too.

    I don't see sudden death (suicides, heart attacks, accidents, etc) in the same way. I think they are much harder to deal with. There is no time to prepare yourself to grieve. It is thrust upon you and creates an emotional shock that can take a long time to wear off and allow the grieving process to begin.

  • Prisca
    I think too that having been suicidal for so many years I don't consider death an enemy. It is a release.

    I agree. A release from the pain that this life inflicts upon us.

    My girlfriend was released from terrible pain of her cancer whne she died. The family was released form the torment of watching her mind and body wither away.

    I feel the same way about my mother's death. My mother battled cancer for 7 years. It stole away life from a loving, gregarious woman who was loved and respected by all who knew her. At least death took away the indignity of the cancer treatments and their side-effects. And it released us (my family) from having to see my beloved mother getting sicker and sicker. From the constant hospital visits and the momentary month of relative health, only to be readmitted again. To see her on the hospital bed with tubes in her body and monitors and oxygen tanks beside her bed. To hear her raspy breathing, struggling to get enough air in her cancer-striken lungs.

    My mother died long before her physical death. I lost her as a real mother when she first started getting sick and hospitalised. It was no way for her to live. It was no way for us to live.

    I don't see sudden death (suicides, heart attacks, accidents, etc) in the same way.

    I know what you mean. At least with someone dying of cancer or some other terminal illness, you have some measure of time to adjust to the idea. With a sudden death, you have no time to prepare yourself. No last goodbyes, no last kiss or hug.

  • obiwan

    Myself, I was 18 when my mother died, I didn't take it very well. Mom was the fabric that held the family together, after she died everything went to crap in the family. The "resurection hope" did nothing to comfort me. The only thing I new is, she was gone. I started to get fairly numb to things after that, a major sickness or death did not bother me as it had in the past. Still I did have some feelings for people who were in dire situations. I actually got my head out of the clouds around 21, and some of my "feelings" came back, people's sickness and death aroused feelings again. Then at 21 I was df'd and that was it my "feelings" were toast, I would hear of close friends and family who were sick or had died and I found that emotionally it didn't phase me. I would respond with, "oh that's so sad", and go about my way.

    It's very intersting, I have found I deal with death in two different ways. With a person (with the exception of my wife) if there is a death I do see it as a matter of importance but the next day it's as if it were no big deal. But I found that if one of my dog's is hurt or died I will be very emtional, it affects me deeply. I often wondered why this is, am I messed up totally,is there something wrong with biochemically? I found the answer in two parts. The first, when people have trauma in thier live, thier body defends agianst this by putting up barriers. Mine would be the emotional disconnection from people in major situations such as sickness and death. The second involving my pets, suprised me. People with pets become more attached to them because a pets love is unconditional, no matter what kind of person you are, no matter what kind of day you had, no matter what kind of financial situation your in, rover will always be there to greet you and be by your side. With a person there are always defense mechanisms that pop up no matter who you are (especially for us ex-dubs). We must earn the trust of the individual and the same with them.

    Sorry for the long winded answer, guess my two cents were more like a dime today.

  • TresHappy

    The deaths of my beloved great uncle, favorite great aunt, and my 2 grandmothers since 2000 have saddened me greatly, however, they all lived to be in their 80's and 90's and their journey was complete. I miss them terribly, but I have so many good memories it helps the hurt. The death of my grandmother in May was a hard blow to all of us granchildren. We are going on, but she is deeply missed.

  • mouthy

    Lee...This is not the only place folks speak well of you. I said you were a sweetheart when you stood in front of the deaf section & did the signing, Sue is not on this line & SHE says your sweet....So I just want you to know YOUR SWEET!!!!!!!(((HUG))

  • Nic

    When I was in the Borg I was really scared of death. All my life I had "We won't see next year" or "Armageddon's just round the corner" and it used to frighten the life out of me. I wasn't bigoted enough to believe that I was perfect enough to survive and if not, I would suffer the horrible deaths mentioned in the bible. And if I did surive, I wouldn't see my non-believing family ever again (my dad included). The religion seems to revolve around life and death. Not just believing in God and living life according to our consciences but everything has a dramatic consequence - if you pioneered you survived armageddon, if you didn't go "on the work" you would die at armageddon - one massive bribe.

    It was only when I was df'd that I stopped being afraid of death. Because now, I believe that it is God's decision who lives and who dies - at any time not just at armageddon (which I don't believe in anyway). I don't believe that I am wicked but I think that to believe that I am righteous and that God will save me or have intervention in my life is wicked. What makes them so special that God would actively bless/provide/look after them? That is not humility. Yet another example of hypocrisy and mind control.

  • Nic

    Forgot to finish!! Sorry.

    Anyway, my Grandad died in November last year. I knew him quite well as I lived with him and my nan while I went to drama school so the funeral was very sad. I did not find any comfort in what the priest had to say but I also did not get comfort in my mum's belief's of the resurrection. However, after the funeral I seemed to be able to box it up and not be upset anymore - maybe this is because I don't have any fixed views on life after death and that anything is possible.

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