How does one cope with the sudden and unexpected loss of a parent?
I think that the hardest part is knowing that I will never see him again. This is contrary to what I have been taught growing up. I have lost many friends and family over the years and have never really grieved that much because I was going to see them again. Now that I know better, the greatest loss to date has happened. Ironic.
MNIONC, you are mourning not only the loss of your father, but also of your faith.
That's a lot to deal with.
When we reject our religion, we can end up adrift spiritually, no longer sure what we still believe. Figuring out what we do and don't believe after leaving a cult is a process that takes a lot of hard work. Many people, maybe even most, never do this work because it is so hard and often very painful emotionally.
Ironically, although we may have rejected some or even all of the specific, explicit beliefs of the religion, we often hold onto harmful core beliefs about ourselves and the world, beliefs which were expressed more implicitly. It's a bit of a Gordian Knot to untangle.
For example, we may have concluded that the seven men that call themselves the "Governing Body" are NOT God's earthly representatives, but we may still suffer from low self-image because of a lifetime of hearing that "God loves you, but if you screw up he's going to have to kill you at Armageddon." Translation: Nothing you do is ever good enough.
I hope that your writing about your feelings here and sharing them with us is helping you to sort it all out.
Much love to you and your family!❤️
Yes, remembering and speaking of your dad often is important. We can keep them alive in our memories and speech.
Dont try and stifle the waves of emotions either. As they come over you, ride with them rather than against them.
I agree that the realisation that this life is all we have is a daunting one for those of us inculcated with the fantasy of living forever. It takes time to retrain our minds to the fact that we need to enjoy each day.
Keep us informed. We are a genuine group here to help!
First of all condolences but as with anything else, things will get better. It's easy to say that obviously decades later, in the mean time, do what makes you feel better. Grieving is normal, it will subside, you can get together with family and friends and celebrate the life that was lost, physical activity may help, picking up a new hobby or anything else that typically helps with feelings of loss or depression.
If you think your grief is overshadowing your work or other parts of your life, reach out to a grief counselor or another professional like a doctor, it's unlikely you'll need medication but it helps just talking about it with people.
Good luck and be happy your primary advice is not to go in field service.
Very sorry for your loss.
I don't think the pain of loss ever fully goes away. My father died almost 50 years ago and I still miss him.
That said, the pain does lessen, but it takes time. Don't try to speed up the process. If anything, that only prolongs it.
I'm sorry about the loss of your dad. Mine died last year and it is still hard to take. He was in his nineties though, which is a ripe old age. My Mom is gone a long time. Have you considered grief counseling?
Cleaning and emptying out a house is a sad and tiring thing to do. It really impresses upon you that no matter who you are, whether important or unimportant, somebody is going to get and dispose of your belongings! I have lost several older relatives/acquaintances in this decade and it really drives the point home.
Sorry about your disillusionment with the Jehovah's Witness religion in this regard. I'm a long-time "fader" and I rid my mind of their fantasy long ago and am grateful for each day.
I'm sorry to hear of your loss.
when my Mother died eight years ago, I walked away from being a witness.
She was one for over 25 years, 15 years ago my parents moved out of state to retire.
When she died, despite her death being read at the meetings, and an obituary posted in three different newspapers, only 5 people sent a card. One stopped off to visit.
She was not an uber witness, but she did her duty, and spent much time taking care of physically sick ones. The neglect from witnesses that knew our family for several decades was the last straw for me, and because she was an animal loving person I trained my dog to be a therapy animal. For eight years we have visited hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and sickly neighbors.
And guess what ? Helping people in this way has been so therapeutic, and up building for me, much more than knocking on doors. I feel her presence whenever we do this type of work.
So find something that your parent liked, and use it as a springboard to do greater things.
Lancelink: Helping people in this way has been so therapeutic, and up building for me, much more than knocking on doors.
Yes. Real helping in tangible, practical ways has so much meaning. Good for you and good for the people you have helped over the years. I'm sure they greatly appreciate all that you have done for them.
Thanks for sharing!
Blessings and Peace during a very sad time, My name IS of consequence:
I am taken aback a little bit because you are writing my story. Same circumstances, same cool dad. He was fine Friday night at the hospital and we said an affectionate good night. We were discussing a new menu to help him control his 55-year-old bout with brittle diabetes (I was his caregiver).
The next morning, two doctors were waiting for me. Dad had had a cerebral hemorrhage over night. Rather than break up the clot in his leg, the Heparin gave him a brain bleed. He never regained consciousness.
He gave assembly-worthy presentations in his unpretentious, humble way to staff and fellow patients. When up and about before this last hospital stay, he was helping friends, family, and strangers.
I wish everyday he and Mom were still here, despite the rough times we did have as a semi-dysfunctional family of JWs. Your story resonates with all of us.
Thank you for sharing. Just want to pay my condolences.