So, I went to another funeral today (contrast/compare)

by Captain Schmideo2 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Captain Schmideo2
    Captain Schmideo2

    A couple of months ago, I posted this:

    In one of those weird twists of fate, about three weeks ago, this individuals first wife (who left him in a spectacular fit of drama) met her own end by violent means at the hand of her latest boyfriend.

    Since she was disfellowshipped at the time of her death, of course, they couldn't have a service in the Kingdom Hall, so it was held instead today at a funeral home.

    And amazingly, it was a much better service.
    Non witnesses seemed to out number the witnesses that showed up (I was surprised as many showed up as they did, considering tonight is the Memorial!). The talk was given by her son in law, and a remembrance was also given by her brother, who in turn read a memory from one of her co-workers. After that, a prayer. Then, there was a photo video, with "worldly music" like Stevie Nicks "Landslide". And the ceremony concluded with the song "Brass Monkey", for everyone to leave the sanctuary by.

    There was laughter, and tears, and sobbing, all real emotions! It was a good sendoff.

    And the irony was, by JW standards, she was not a good person. She had been married and divorced three times, was living with another guy, but apparently, was going to try to reconcile with her last husband (they had just met that weekend to discuss that) when the boyfriend, drunk and high, did the whole "If I can't have you, no one else will either!" and shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.
    On a personal level, my experiences with her were more negative than positive. She was the leader of the Hall clique back in our younger years, and did some very hurtful and mean things to others, including my sister.
    So, reading her obit, I was trying to reconcile this person that I knew with the one presented in the description. Was she really a great human being, and I was just too begrudging to see it? Or was she different in her "worldly persona" than she was in her "Witness persona"? And why was the Worldy one so much better a person?
    In the end, I found myself wishing I had known her "better side", and that made me sad. So many years wasted...

    But I found it ironic that her first husband, the saint, the one who did everything right, was a find, upstanding JW elder, father, and all around nice guy, got the same, bland, generic black lettering on white background "memorial" service that most JW's get ("Insert name of deceased here").

    Something is really backward about the whole JW culture, that's for sure...

  • Finkelstein

    The problem with JWS is that it is highly judgemental and publishable upon its members.

    the WTS/JWS is overly critiquing and scrutinizing its members to their looks and activity etc..

    Really not inline with Jesus admonishment of not to overly judge their fellow Christians.

    " Those without sin cast the first stone "

    I can see though there has to be some defining line when a person is perceived to be an active member of a congregation, how regularly a person attends or associates with a religious organization can receive the working activity of that organization.

  • Captain Schmideo2
    Captain Schmideo2

    I guess the point I was trying to make in all this murky water, was that the funeral you get "outside" is much better than the one you get "inside". Not that it matters much to the dead person, but when family members are in grief and pain, a more personal experience would be welcome (IMHO).

  • Finkelstein

    Yes totally agree Schmideo2.

    JWS funerals are pretty bland, unfeeling and a bit promotional to their own religion.

    One elder gives a prescriptive talk and turns the event into a selling and promotional skit for the JWS

  • Diogenesister

    Your bus stop analogy is just about the best one I have heard when it comes to jw.

    So much So, I said it to a jw I know ( not personally, from the carts). I hope it makes her think.

    Your story is very poignant, though it's hard to get through the tragedy of both their deaths. So close together. Thank goodness they, we, can't see the future, really, even if it *would* stop some of us joining cults. I just keep thinking of those 18 + JW newlyweds with all the usual JW newlywed aspirations, and the incredible sadness of their close together. Life is so unspeakably beautiful and so unspeakably cruel.

    Edit: you are right, of course, about the funerals. Watchtower control is obscene.

  • Captain Schmideo2
    Captain Schmideo2

    Diogenesister Thanks for the feedback on my analogy.

    I remember years ago, an elder gave an illustration. I found out he stole it from a Jack Finney story (summary below)

    "Of Missing Persons"
    What happened to Judge Crater and Ambrose Bierce? Charlie Ewell thinks he found out. What seems fascinating and possible after a couple of beers and late in the evening seems quite different in the bright light of the next day. But, Charlie is curious, so he decides to visit the Acme Travel Bureau anyway. If they decide he's the "right type," they will bring out a folder from beneath the counter, a folder they just made up as a joke. It's about a trip, one-way, to a planet called Verna. Why go to Verna?

    Life is simple there, and it's serene. In someways, the good ways, it's like the early pioneering communities here in your country, but without the drudgery that kill people young. There is electricity. There are washing machines, vacuum cleaners, plumbing, modern bathrooms, and modern medicine, very modern. but there are no radios, television, telephones or automobiles. Distances are small. and people live and work in small communities. They raise or make most of the things they use. Every man builds his own house, with all the help he needs from his neighbors. Their recreation is their own, and there is a great deal of it, but there is no recreation for sale, nothing you buy a ticket to. They have dances, card parties, wedding, christenings, birthday celebrations harvest parties. There are swimming and sports of all kinds. There is conversation, a lot of it, plenty of joking and laughter. There is a great deal of visiting and sharing of meals and each day is well filled and well spent. There are no pressures, economic or social, and life holds few threats. Every man, woman,and child is a happy person.

    It almost sounds too good to be true, and that's what bothers Charlie.

    Of course, Charlie goes to the waiting station, a barn outside of town, where he waits with others for the transporter to take them to Verna. But, after a period of delay, he gets impatient, feels like the whole thing is a big prank, and walks out.
    And of course, 5 seconds later, the rest of the group is beamed away. And he blew his only chance.

    And that's the point the brother made, that we must be patient or we will lose our chance.

    Or, borrowing my analogy, we could be waiting at the bus stop until we die, and so will our progeny.

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