Funeral/Memorial at the Kingdom Hall ... Would you go?

by Wild_Thing 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • Tameria2001

    I can easily answer this question with a solid NO. I can say this is because I have already refused to go to two different JW relative's funeral. One was a grandmother and the other was an aunt. The first funeral I faked an illness, yes I know that was the cowards way out, but it worked. The other a few years later I flat out refused. My husband was really pushing the issue (he's also a former JW as well), but he decided to drop it when he saw I was in full panic mode.

    They say the funeral is for the living, so why should one put themselves through complete hell to be around people who don't want them there anyway.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    my jw dad died in jan 2016. he was 94. he and i got baptised together ( i was 14) i left the cult in my 20's. he and i remained close..he never shunned me. his last 3 years he lived in a care home. i visited him every other day. i trimmed his hair and his nails. i shaved him.

    occasional elder visits to him dwindled and stopped. his former daughter in law ( my ex ); and my daughter--who lived in the same house...never went near him. they lived less than a mile away. i guess they shunned him because of his association with me.

    he was one of the good guys. he cared for my mum for years after she had a severe stroke. she died in 1998. everybody liked my dad. i miss him.

    after he died i arranged a simple non religious funeral. a few care home staff attended. i was supported by 2 ex jw friends that live near me and ive known for several years.

    unfortunately i forgot to notify the congregation, so no dubs attended. my bad.

  • pale.emperor

    I'll never set foot in a Kingdom Hall again.

    You can take that to the bank. I dont care if it's a funeral, a wedding, a memorial...





  • Wild_Thing

    Thank you to all sharing your experiences and opinions. It is a hard decision to make. I have about decided not to go. I don't see ANYTHING good coming out of it. I just don't understand why I can't shake the guilt over not going! Old JW programming, I guess?

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    I know how you feel, Wild Thing...

    Each person, with their own experiences, personalities, will have their different reasons to attend or not to attend.

    Me? Though I would never want to hear another "memorial"/ advertisement/ recruiting talk, something inside me would want to 1. Make a statement: "Here I am, you shun me, but I am not afraid 2. Face what you have done, you can't have your happy little JW world without thinking of what you did. 3. Maybe, just maybe, someone wished they knew, are hoping to escape and need the support. 4. To observe it as a matter of history.


    Just me, cha ching

  • blondie

    I haven't gone to one for 17 years, not even my mother's 7 years ago. I rather send a card and add some good personal memories I have of that person if possible. A card is forever and can be read over and over.

  • StephaneLaliberte
    Wild_Thing: Old JW programming, I guess?

    Yes. We have been programmed. Literally programmed. I read a book about the power of habits* and basically this is where we can be programmed. For instance, when you drive to work, if nothing special happens, odds are you will find yourself at your destination without evening knowing how you got there.

    That is because your brain doesn't need to work as hard to do something it has done several times before. Your brain remembers all the decisions you took the first time you did it and automatically takes the same decisions when doing it for the 'n' time. Your conscious self doesn't even need to think about it. So you can drive to work while thinking about other things.

    Cults such as JWs bank on this. It pushes various scenarios and decision making several times a week so that you will need to work harder to break these habits. You get a trigger: "You are asked to come to the kingdom hall" and you previously acknowledged thousands of times before that it was bad not to go. So your unconscious self expects you to take the same decision as before and you will need to fight as hard as a smoker trying to loose his cigarette before you are free from the guilt trip.

    Its not easy, but you'll get there.

    * The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg

  • minimus

    My brother died this year and three years ago next month my mom died. It was nerve racking for me with my mom because I didn’t want to get barraged with JWs but it was necessary that I go. Not bad the second time around this year because I really don’t care what can happen. I live my life and tried to show respect by my presence

  • cha ching
    cha ching

    Good idea, Blondie... I like the idea of a card.. I have kept all of mine for years, and I do read them. Yep, a card lasts forever, and who knows? it just might make the bridge for someone.

  • Incognito

    Attendance is not necessarily for your benefit nor for the benefit to the deceased but is more a means to show your respect for the person and to offer support and condolence to the deceased's immediate surviving family.

    If that person's family are all JWs who will shun me, then I will not attend and accept being treated in that manner but I may send them a card to acknowledge their loss. If the person's family does not shun or if there are 'worldly' family members, I may then decide to attend to show support to those people.

    A funeral/memorial service of any religious denomination will usually contain information I and many other attendees may not necessarily agree with. I consider that presentation is not really for my benefit as a non-family attendee but is usually intended to comfort the person's immediate family, so they will feel that God has received their loved one in heaven or wherever they wish to believe he/she is going. During the service, I generally reflect on the positive interactions I've had with the person while living.

    If there are personal stories about the deceased, I will listen to those as they are often funny and reflect on the person's personality. I may offer a comment to the officiant on enjoying that part of the service.

    The funeral service itself usually affords minimal personal interaction while a pre-or-post service visitation typically will allow more interaction with the family.

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