Contrast of a Catholic funeral for 21 year old drug overdose

by gypsywildone 10 Replies latest jw experiences

  • gypsywildone

    I had to go to a neighborhood kid's funeral today. A 21 year old drug overdose, dropped off at the hospital by 3 scared punks that split. An unidentified "John Doe", clinically dead. The Catholic priest had apparently never met the family. The priest did well in stressing God did love Nick, & no one should judge Nick because he was possessed by something greater than himself. Nick had a pain & a craving most of us could not begin to understand, he was driven by other things. Very profound. It was a very loving send off to a kid the priest didn't even know. No judgment, killing, & hate for a flawed individual from the Catholic priest! And there was no whispers, no "looks", just love & support for the parents. A planter that was a black metal, hot rod car with flames full of flowers, sent by his friends, other 21 year olds, was buried with him. No pretending not to grieve, no spouting of doctrine or propaganda. An understanding & celebration of Nick.

  • Billygoat


    I'm glad you had that experience. Most "worldly" funerals are actually a celebration of the loved one's life and a comfort for those left behind. A friend of mine died several years ago in a tragic car accident. His parents were overwhelmed when 30 of us from just his Sunday School class took turns sitting with him at the hospital and then eventually attended his funeral. They knew he was attending our church, but didn't realize he'd made such an impact on all of us. He was a wonderful, brilliant and talented young man. Every person that rose to speak found comfort and even laughter in sharing a story about him from some portion of his life. It was confirmation to me that funerals are for the loved ones left behind to honor the lost loved one. It's NOT a time to attempt to convert or reestablish doctrinal beliefs.

    Ugh. Sometimes the thought that I was raised in this religion makes me ill. Just ill.


  • AuntieJane

    I'm Catholic. I know there are problems in the church, but I love the teachings, the Mass, the sacraments.

    I have many, many friends and family who belong to other churches; I have attended many other services

    and joined in prayer with all of them. It is what Jesus taught us to do.

    I don't care what faith others follow, I am not to judge. We are all One in the Father.

    But when my own brother died and his JW son, daughter and family stood inside the Catholic church near the door during the entire

    service, my eyes were opened. What kind of Love is taught by this sad organization? Obviously, conditional & controlling.

    The point they were making was...?....They loved their father, BUT...?? They loved us who were there, BUT?....Sad, Sad, Sad.

  • hillbilly

    I had not been in a Catholic Church for years. One day a couple of years ago I was feeling very lost and popped into the sanctuary at St Bridgid's, just to meditate.

    There was a Lay Prayer service going on.... most of the faithful were up front. I took a seat in the one approached me to "love bomb" me, or ask for money... I just sat.

    They were praying...really praying, like Jesus asked us to pray.... round robin open prayers for people and situations. In a lot of ways, at a lot of levels I knew some of those prayers were for me.

    Yep, the Catholics, for that matter, many of those 'false religious' churches can show a love and care and empathy for their fellowman that is sorely missing at the "KINGDOM HALL".

    Sorry the boy died.... but glad he was celebrated for his goodness and not condemed for his pain.


  • gypsywildone

    Well, I was not glad for the experience, as this kid had spent years at my house when he was younger, & we had such a history together. I knew his parents for years, & it was all very hard.

    I had only attended one jw funeral, about 2 years ago. During my short, but memorable interrment at the watchtower concentration camp, many years ago, I don't remember attending one funeral. But after reading experiences on this site, I paid careful attention to what was going on at the funeral of a non-believing old man that was the much put upon husband of a staunch jw woman. His wife said "he loved the witnesses". I happen to know otherwise, he was hassled & harried & could not win in his own home! Anyhow, they lived near me & were friends of the family for a good many years. That spectacle was an exercise in propaganda for the jws. Same old spew. And I saw the same tired, sad jws I had known as a young teenager, only sadder & older. Still doing the same thing, speaking the same robot speak. No love was shown, that I saw anyway.

    I have been to many Catholic weddings & a few funerals over the years. But in contrast to the jw "funeral" for a guy they barely knew & hardly mentioned, this priest started out by saying "I did not know Nick's life, YOU all knew Nick's life. But I do know God loved Nick so very much more than Nick ever knew. Do not judge Nick, for he was posessed by a thing greater & stronger than himself, & he had pain & cravings most of us will never understand". And it went from there.

    My daughter, one of Nick's best friends for many years, a few years ago, before he went down this path, was put out by several references to Nick & his struggle with drugs, & reminding everyone not to think ill of Nick or judge him. But I told her those people needed to hear that. These were the "beautiful people", not any like myself that got thrown out of the house at 18 & landed in a wild neighborhood full of drug abusers, etc. These people have little or no understanding what drove Nick & how he ended up where he was.

    Somehow, I really got the feeling that the priest DID have that understanding, & knew where it was at.

  • yesidid

    I too attended a funeral for a young man who had overdosed. We will call him Bill. The man who took the service had not met Bill. However he had obviously spent time with the family and gave a very warm history of Bill. I thought it was so considerate the way he alluded to Bill going on drugs. He said ?about then Bill lost his focus?. The rest was just about the resurrection.

    What is interesting is that the man giving the service was a Jehovah?s Witness elder and Bill had never been a witness but his parents had recently been baptized. I have to say I could not fault the service, and I was ready and willing to do so.

    Now don?t pick on me. I also have been to Witness services which were just propaganda.
    But in the spirit of fairness I felt I should mention this one. I don?t have to be unfair just because I am no longer a Witness, do I?

  • candidlynuts

    nope nothing wrong at all in being fair. .. its great that he had a good service

    my great grandma had a good service in the 70s. very personal and interesting to me then 7 or 8. i think they added the "funeral script" in the 90s sometime.

  • gypsywildone

    I would never pick on you yesidid, & Candi is right, there is nothing wrong in being fair. I have only ONE jw funeral to go by. That one was absolutely mind numbing. Not up lifting at all, no celebration of the person the man really was. I am really surprised to hear your experience yesidid, every time "something" happens around here, I ask the oold jw lady I know, & she asks the Grande Poo Bah, & HE says "they weren't strong in the truth", "he was never baptised", "they were only studying". I can just imagine what would happen if one of those they pretend they hardly know (but grew up with most of their life) died of a drug o.d.!

  • Iforget

    When my grandmother died 8 years ago I went to the brother who was going to give the discourse. I asked jim to talk about what a great woman she was and how she impacted our lives. She was my rock and was the one person who NEVER EVER judged me. She was kind and good. She is the one who taught me how to be a good wife/mother and above all else a good person.

    He didn't say one damn thing in regards to that. Just the basic yack about the resurrection. I was SO PISSED OFF. I figured he just ignored me but now reading here I realize that he couldn't do that from the platform. How stupid is that?

    I am still pissed.

  • Preston

    I think if JW's effectively separated "the truth" from the social impact of their beliefs, things would be....much different. I'm not a fan of the upper echelons of the catholic church but the person who conducted Nick's talk is what I would refer to as a "righteous man" who actually knows how to properly respect the dead by means of a talk. Everything that was brought out in those few sentences you stated Gypsy, was more than anything they did for my grandmother when she passed away.

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