Everyone eventually losses someone due to death. That is just the way that life is. You are born and eventually you will die. In the years I spent in the IFB, I began to realize that they have their own twists on why people die and how to handle it.
When I was 13, my mom passed away in a motorcycle accident. We were missionaries, at the time. And actually the day she died was the day we were supposed to come back to the States. (The pastor insisted we come back earlier. If it wasn’t for that I think my mom would be alive today. Not saying they killed her. Just saying that if they hadn’t gotten involved things wouldn’t have ended up like they did.) My mom lived in Pennsylvania before that and we wanted a funeral there. Well, our pastor had a thing or two to say about that. He already had his eyes on my dad to become the next pastor of his church, school, and college. So he wanted us to be there at his church just so the congregation could see how we mourned the death of a loved one. And let me tell you, it was awful mourning in front of a bunch of people who didn’t know you and kept saying they would pray for you. I wanted to just yell at them. They didn’t have a clue. Oh and then we had a second funeral in my mom’s home state. (The pastor insisted preaching at that one as well.)
Two weeks after the funeral, we were put into the IFB school (Which was in Indiana, far from our family.) My brothers and I struggled. My brother kept failing in school and getting demerits- which he would get beat for. (The church believed that he was rebelling.) No one would take it into consideration that we just lost our mother and were struggling with it.
A month after my mom died, my dad put my brothers and I into two separate homes and went to California at the advice of the pastor. My experience was awful. I was at the pastor’s son’s home. His wife was a bitch (lack of better term.) Everything had to be done perfect. If there was a wrinkle in the bed she would call my dad and let him know that I was misbehaving. When my dad got back a month later, I was beat for all my misdeeds.
While at the house, I had a breakdown. I cried for about 2 hours nonstop. The wife told me that I was sinning for crying like that. She said that if I was a true Christian then I wouldn’t mourn like the world. True Christian or not, I lost my mom and she wasn’t coming back.
I was also told nasty things about my mom and me. Things like: “It is good she died, she was holding your dad back,” “Your mom always dressed immodestly and that is a big sin,” “She died for a reason- are you right with God?” “Are you sure your a Christian? Cause if your not, you will never see your mom again.” I wasn’t the only one that went through this. I had friends that lost family members and they experienced the same thing.
Eventually, I shut down. I figured it was easier to just act like it didn’t matter to me. Even though it really did. Two years ago, ten years, after she died, I was finally able to mourn her death like I should have years ago. Let me tell you, it felt so good to get it all out and to properly say my goodbye.
One thing that the IFB doesn’t like at all is when you say that you talk with your dead family member. They act like your crazy. Well, call me crazy but I find myself saying things to her. “You’re laughing at me aren’t you mom?” “Wish you were here.” “I love you and miss you.” I don’t expect a response. If I did, I would be creeped out. LOL My point is that this was something I had to do as well. Kinda like a part of her is still there.
Also the IFB says that once they are dead they are gone. Which in a way they are. However, I don’t feel like my mom has ever really left me. I feel like she is still there watching over me. During times of deep depression, it was like I could feel her there helping me.
In the IFB, there is no one to counsel you either- other than the pastor. Even then everything you feel is picked apart and you leave feeling like dirt. Like it is your fault that person died. Heaven forbid you say you are angry at god.
This is just my personal experience along with observation done over the years. I am not saying every IFB church is this disturbing in handling death. If you had any experience with this feel free to share if you would like.