An Inappropriate Act

As many of you know, my mother passed away a few days ago.  Let me first thank all of you who have expressed sympathy — it means a lot.

We have also been receiving sympathy cards from various friends, relatives, and acquaintances, all of which, again, have been welcome and much appreciated.

But in the stack of cards in the mailbox today was a letter that was not so welcome.  We received, unsolicited of course, a form letter from a local Jehovah’s Witness activist who stated that she wished to “comfort”: us with scripture.  I have no idea who this prosyletizing busybody is, but she was sloppy in her editing, and one portion of the letter still included the names of the previous recipients rather than being switched to our names.

Can there be anything more inappropriate?  Does this woman read the obituaries each week and send out her nonsense (there were some Watchtower Society tracts in the envelope as well), hoping to win converts from among the grieving?  Perhaps this person is well intentioned, but I certainly question her judgment.  I don’t for one minute profess to speak for all the bereaved, but I consider it incredibly poor taste to try to push religion on a total stranger at such a time.

4 thoughts on “An Inappropriate Act

  1. That’s just nauseating. Not only is she using tragedy to pounce on possible converts, but she couldn’t even be bothered to hide that she apparently does this with some regularity.

  2. The letter struck me as gibberish or word salad. A bunch of stuff thrown together in a mash of what she probably thought was lovely religious prose. I mistook her use of the incorrect names as part of the incoherence before realizing it was a mistake in not replacing two names used previously rather than the correct names she intended.

    I wonder if she is doing this with the approval of the JW cult. I think there is a general prohibition about women trying to pass along the “good word” without the support or involvement of a man. I know that JW women generally don’t appear at your door without a man accompanying them. Younger men are typically accompanied by an older (but not wiser) man. Maybe you should scold her for not keeping her place or threaten to report her to the “elders” or whatever they may be called. She might get some verbal admonitions to follow the rules. A flogging or such might be too much to hope for.

    I don’t think she would be open to suggestions that she learn how to write. She would dismiss most criticism as coming from the devil directly I suppose. Telling her to mind her own business would also fall on deaf ears. Saving must go on.

  3. It is a lowly tactic indeed. Your post reminded me of a mailing I received the other day from a JW who had hand-addressed the envelope and written a short note in shaky cursive. It reminded me of my grandmother’s unsteady penmanship and I wondered at the time if a very elderly woman might have written it as part of some outreach campaign. I viewed it, as I have other attempts to “witness” me, as a sincere (if misguided) attempt by a devout person to truly help me. Maybe if you could view the letter you received in this way it would actually provide some measure of comfort–despite the epic fail. Hope you are well and find joy in this holiday season despite your recent loss, Lucretius. Your friends are thinking of you. 🙂

  4. Based on your description of the handwriting, I wonder if it is the same peson.

    Anyway, thanks for the great advice and the expression of sympathy. See you tonight at the solstice party!

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