Drearyweather, I'm inactive and shunned by all except my parents, who are more distant then when I was active. My family includes several elders and pioneers. They can't get over the fact that I don't attend anymore (I'm a former bethelite, international construction worker and pioneer and I've risked my life refusing a blood transfusion), and I've explained to them that due to the child abuse legal and policy issues as well as controversial doctrine changes I can't wrap my head around (which somehow Makes me a spiritual loser according to wt because I can't shrug off the nagging thoughts due to seeing through the bs) so that I can't go in service and teach strangers what I can't even believe anymore for obvious reason the family agrees with even. Deep down they know I'm right, but the cognitive dissonance kicks in hard and it's easier for them to just shun me then be reminded that they could be wrong. I mentioned the above activities, because the CD is louder as they know I was all in and zealous for the "truth"; now I'm not and it confuses them, so it's easier for them to justify themselves to themselves by shunning in the form of "marking" so I'm out of sight out of mind. It gets hard because my nephew is looking forward to the birth of his first child, I'm not invited to any family gatherings etc. and we were all super close. But I am unable to fake it, so I am shunned because I choose it to live in truth. As far as wt policy, I think some convention talks addressed shunning inactive recently as well as it is ingrained in the wt social culture and reinforced by dubs like my family who are held as examples' so if they do it to me, others will follow their example and do it to others.
They don't even invite my kids to memorial anymore. I don't attend for about 6 years now. My last one was very surreal and very void of uplifting spirituality as described in comments above. Lots of just going through the motion and get out so we can go to dinner. I live in socal and most people seem to enjoy the memorial as an occasion to dress up and visit, believing they are doing the right thing. I was highly disturbed when I read freemasonry rituals involving passing the emblems and not partaking called the black mass which seemed pretty similar to the jw celebration and so I'd rather not be a part of rejecting Jesus even unknowingly. It seems there is some truth to giving away energy in rituals, at least according to esoteric sources. So, I'd rather just leave it all behind and be the kind of person Jesus taught us to be, kind, compassionate, courageous, truthful and willing to reject religious dogma that seekers to diminish and control the sheep.
Blessings to all of you who are caught in the middle with family still "in" and those fading; it's emotionally hard. Each should do what your gut tells you to do' fade, go all out, or participate for the love of family members who would be shattered to leave. It's very personal for each one of us. a bethel sister once told me when faced with an illness, "knowledge is power and chases away fear, so go get informed and you'll know what you need to do." Great advice, so research , observe and witness what is happening around you without judgement and you will be able to discern truth. With that you will create and maintain your own personal power and navigate the cult.