Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do you realize?

One of my childhood JW friends died this past December. I only found out last week.

It's still a strange thing to me that I can be so far removed from a community that I once held so dear. I don't know that I would have gone to the funeral service even if I'd known about it. But I didn't even have the option. I am persona non grata. I no longer exist to them, not in any tangible way that requires action. I am this mysterious apparition that used to be one of them. But it's not just that they see me as an outcast, but that they actually see me as a threat. Little ole me with my heretic thinking. I am apostate. I am dangerous.

They think my main goal in life is to turn them away from their faith. But I am no longer in the conversion business. To each his own. As John Gray states in Straw Dogs (I shall be quoting this book for many entries to come; I am forever changed by it), "Humans cannot live without illusion." Gray echoes my own realization that life is about seeing the illusions we've acquired and created for ourselves and becoming aware of the ones we can and cannot live without. For most of the Jehovah's Witnesses I know, their beliefs are illusions they require in order to survive. Who am I to judge? Goddess knows, I've kept a few illusions myself for this trip round the sun.

Many more of those I once knew will die. And I will do my mourning in private. I am not one of them. And can never be again. Some decisions ripple across a lifetime in ways you can never foresee.

And so it is.

tall penguin


huntingviolet said...

Sending some peace and maybe some endorphins your way. :)

Arwen said...

I feel your pain....sweetie..

Anonymous said...

I have lost many that once were viewed as family or friends but to whom I am dead. I feel the uncertainty, the loss, the anger, and the sense of frustration when I cannot be part of the grieving but yet must grieve alone.

My arms, shoulders and ears are always available. We don't have to be alone.

Umlud said...

I have lost former friends and classmates, all while they were in far-away lands (or maybe it was me who was far away). Although not considered persona non grata, I nonetheless have a continued empty place where they used to be. Of course, being a persona non grata only delays the mourning; causes sudden shock and grief that cannot be shared with others, both because of your social status as well as the space of time.

I am sorry for your loss, although the knowing came so late. I know how that feels, and I dread it happening not only to those I care especially for, but to all the people I know.