The cult robbed me of my grief.

resipsaloquitur Jan. 2012

My first wife died after a year of marriage. I don't talk about it much because I still don't really know what to think, or how I feel about it. And it was almost 13 years ago.

I was a good little Kolobian. I went on a mission at 19, BYU at 21, marriage at 21 and--you guessed it--baby at 22. Our little girl was 2 months old when my wife's heart stopped without warning. The baby had just finished nursing in the early morning twilight when her mother, still with baby in arms, stopped breathing.

Paramedics rushed her to the hospital, my brother drove me in my panic and shock shortly behind the ambulance. I knew things were bad, but I was incapable of accepting the possibility of the worst. So when the doctor came into the little waiting room designated for telling families that their loved ones had died, I was not prepared for that news. Who could be prepared? I let out a gutteral, primal scream. And even as I did it, I was embarrassed for behaving so undignified and with so little acceptance of God's will.

My brother and I, along with another priesthood holder, asked to see the body in private. Our wishes were respected, and I begged my brother--whose faith and righteousness were beyond question--to raise her from the dead with his Godly magic. He gave the usual fortune-teller's line: be healed, or at least do what God wants. She remained forever quiet.

The cult held a Church rally with her body in front. We endured several hours of isn't The Church great? and you should all join! Then we put her in the ground. I used my powers to dedicate the grave. I cast a spell that whoever visited there would want to join The Church. But I really don't know if anyone understood my incantation, because the gutteral, primal voice came back.

Then, that night, my dead wife's brother took me on a moonlit walk in the wilderness. He told me that her entire family had decided that I was to remarry, and quickly. That was God's will, and she wants that for me too. My baby needs a mother, after all. Over the next few days and weeks, this command grew and grew in my mind. I was lonely, and horny, and helplessly ignorant about how to care for an small infant. My bishop confirmed for me that this was God's will for me, for my baby. And after all, how could I remain temple worthy if I succumbed (succame?) to temptation.

It all seemed right. The priesthood leaders and patriarchs in my life, whose stewardships ruled over me, had all confirmed what I wanted anyway, which is that God wanted me to find someone to have sex with, and soon. So I was married within a few short months, before the year was out, to the first girl who came along. That disaster is a story for another post. But suffice it to say that I quickly discovered that the marriage was not, in fact, God's will.

The effect of all this was that, out of duty to Mormon, Inc., I willingly sublimated my own mental health and needs to the corporate need for more assets. I should have grieved, but I didn't. Instead, I followed the Spirit and the counsel of my priesthood leaders to advance the corporate interests, and I remarried. It was the worst mistake of my life.

I should have struggled through the loss and the loneliness and the questions why. But I didn't. Instead, I found a willing woman, and I convinced us both that Jesus had sorted all of that out for me. I spouted Atonement this and Atonement that and isn't it wonderful. And she bought it. And I bought it. And it was bullshit. And then the marriage was over as soon as it began, although it took 8 years to die.

I never grieved my wife's death. Not really. I moved on with an artificial, contrived life before I even got over the initial shock. And it seems silly and pointless to grieve now, like the moment has passed. Like that awkward moment after you've already passed a coworker in the hall and you realize you should have smiled and said hello. It's too late, and if you tried now, you would just feel like an idiot.

My dead wife doesn't exist anymore, and I don't even miss her. That's what makes me mad. Would I miss her if I had grieved, if I had come to a natural peace with it? I don't know, but the cult had no right to take that from me.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
Your story is beyond heart wrenching. You would not believe the lump in my throat right now. I hate that cult. They don't know support. They don't know love. There is nothing but selfish motive in every thing they do.

Take it from somebody who knows how to bury things all the way to China--I think you still need to grieve. It will happen. It will help. I really hope you find whatever you need.

I wish I could do something to make this right for you.
Yes, the mormon church robbed you. Perhaps this moving post is a new start toward healing and repairing the damage. Do take care.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
It is never silly or pointless to grieve. At any time. And as they shouldn't have told you not to grieve then, no one can tell you not to grieve now.
Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
Very powerful experience - thank you for sharing. I am sorry.
Carol Y.
OMG, so much sorrow in your young life! As you are able to tell us, ut seems that you have become strong enough now to do the real grieving .
I've experienced delayed grieving over some life experiences, and it can be very difficult. If you haven't already, it may be a good time to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. In the mean time, we're here for you.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I'm going to have to agree with the group and say it sounds like you still need to grieve. The problem is when you've masked something like that for that long it's hard to dig it back up.

Which is why I think the suggestion of finding a good therapist is an excellent one. Someone who can help you to get passed that block and release those feelings, in order to actually give them a chance to heal.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I'm so sorry for your pain. I agree, Mormonism does not give people time to grieve for various things, including deaths of loved ones. It is very unhealthy! I can only hope you can go through whatever stages of grief you still need to, and have loving and kind friends around as you do.

I agree with others--that you still need to grieve
It might be why you posted it here. It isn't even just grieving for your wife, but for so many other things.

I am so sorry this happened to you.

My cousin died at age 37 with 6 kids. She married supposedly the love of her life. He remarried 1 month later. I don't know who he got advice from other than his mother lined him up with a widow before his wife was even dead. The fallout has been unbelievable. It has been 18 years since she died--and there is still fallout.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
Part of the Church's strategy is to make your life so miserable
that you constantly say to yourself, "I'm so glad I have the
gospel in my life because without it it would be nothing but

When a master died on an old south plantation the slaves cried.
Without him to take care of them, what would they do??

Re: Your story qualifies to be one of the worst life experiences
I've read here. I am sorry for lost grief.....
Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I am sorry this happened to you--was done to you. Perhaps you could write her a letter, gather friends, and read the letter in their presence. Tell her all this and whatever else is on your heart.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
Oh my . . . your story is beyond sad.

I'm going to join the chorus and say you've suppressed your grief. I'd recommend having a chat with a counselor (a specialized grief counselor would be ideal, if there is one in your area) about the issue. Humans need to mourn, be miserable and feel the pain of the loss of the loved one. Only then are they able to begin move on with their lives.

Everyone's mourning style and length is different. it may be brief and intense or it may take longer to work through. Burying the grief isn't healthy. It will eat away at you like stress will.

I still have a raw spot in my heart for my grandfather (who was the greatest person I've ever known) and he died 22 years ago. I can't talk about him at any length without crying and I mourned him when he died. I was an inconsolable bucket of tears.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I wondered why I hang around here sometimes...

Until I read your story...

All my LOVE to you...


Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I remember watching a mom inter her daughter and let out a scream like you describe, I wondered about her until my morg conditioning kicked in.. now later I think I have true sympathy for you. I am so sorry that she was stolen from you and you didn't even get to greve about it. so so sorry. share your pain all you need too we will listen

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
There are some posts that leave me speechless. All I can do is let out a groan and a sigh. How can some people be so ignorant and unfeeling? How did those people get so broken?

My heart breaks for you. Please get some grief counseling. I think it will be a great help to you. You were not given what you needed when you needed it. You needed unconditional love, compassion, and time and space to grieve the huge loss that you and your new baby had just experienced. You needed help with giving yourself and your child the tools to keep moving forward in life.

IMO, you were abused. People were giving you advice they had no business giving you. You needed love, support, and the space to work things out. That was all taken from you by people who had no idea what they were doing. You have suffered because of their ignorance.

That will always be a part of your life story. You can't go back in time and undo it. You can go forward though. You can go forward and do the emotional work you needed to do in the past. It's better late than never. I think a qualified grief counselor can help you work through this. Please do that for yourself, and your child. Don't suffer needlessly because of others failings.

Mormon Observer
Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
You will be able to grieve when it is safe to do so. When that comes, let it out, cry, put a fist through plasterboard walls,etc.

I lost the real love of my life in 03. He was gone and incarcerated before I could blink an eye. My family all said "good riddance, bad rubbish" and 'get on with your life'. I had a bunch of children to nuture and raise alone. I had to move to another state and begin anew.

My family did not let me grieve. They did not recognize I'd lost my husband! Their attitude was he was so bad he could just be buried with the garbage! No one cared that I'd lost someone I loved very much. It was horrible. The TSCC? Whew! What a laugh! No one recognized that I was grieving his loss. No one cared when I moved into the ward essentially a widow. Not one word of sympathy or condolances. In fact, I was put on the divorced woman's one year probation even though I was still married at the time. The Church handbook of instructions has the woman who is single interviewed and if she wasn't the cause of the divorce then after a year she can be given a job! Yet I was still married for another two years after I moved into the ward...but I was not considered married, just divorced! And no one offered sympathy.
I feel your pain. You were rushed into a relationship you weren't ready for.

I couldn't really grieve. He was gone and was never coming back. Even if he was free from prison I couldn't have him back. He'd already gone round the bend mentally with in three weeks of jail. He didn't recognize me and kept raving about things that were not true. His MOTHER filled out the divorce papers and had him sign them. I thought of him nearly every day for years. I'd be listening for his footstep on the porch everyweekend.

Finally after seven years I was able to move on. But I had NEVER cried over his loss. After nine years I started dating again. Met a really nice guy. We had some nice fun dates. Then he found we had a clash of needs and we mutually parted.

It hit the fan for me. I cried for a whole day. I wasn't crying over the loss of my new fella in my was the loss of never getting to say goodbye to my former spouse, who never writes and I haven't heard from in over six years....I could finally cry and grieve for all that I missed.

Let yourself feel what you need to. You might find something really stupid will set you crying and it will make no sense, but it might be the trigger you need to let out your grief at the loss of your wife.

I'm sorry this happened. I've known two women who died on the table just after having their baby. Their husbands were devastated. As one says who could have seen that coming? No one.

Allow yourself to fully mourn
I feel for you. You never allowed yourself to grieve. Buried emotions remain and operate at subconscious level. The best way to release the buried emotions is to allow yourself to fully experience them and release them.

You might sit quietly and fully allow yourself to remember all the pain and keep going as deep as you can. You may cry, that I'd release. You may also want to allow yourself to feel the anger at all the people that guided you wrong. Feel your anger at TSCC. Then, release it. It may take several sessions to release it all.

I wish you well in your healing.

Never ever feel you can't
I work for the Funeral industry.

Let me tell you some of these people are the most caring and understanding people in the business. They have seen people come back years later because at the moment of their loved ones death they were too struck to even grieve. People who say they want the cheap funeral and have a cremation without a goodbye farewell or service usually come back because they missed some of the steps to grief (which services and family help with)

It's never too late and no one who understands will ever fault you for the delayed grief. You obviously miss her (just not how you perceive) or you wouldn't have told this story or even thought about it.

You might find a grief counselor that can help you understand what happened and where your feelings are.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
Thank you for sharing your story. For me, the damaging side of the lds church is illustrated in the personal stories of those who believe in it. Like you said so well, those who submit themselves to the will of the corporation and its patriarchs and priesthood leaders.

Over my mormon years I've had conversations with other members about this very topic, remarrying too fast after the death of a spouse. I always thought it was disturbing that there was no grieving time and no matter what I never could get myself to agree with my more TBM brothers and sisters. Their words and tones bothered me. "I want to my husband to remarry asap, i I pass away before him" or "A man should not be alone, he must remarry asap" and even "the children need a mother". No room or time for grieving or for human emotions. Sometimes it even seemed to me that no-one was allowed to be sad at the funeral. Sick, just sick.

My heart goes out to the young you who had to go through so much pain and had those in your life just push you under more distress. I'm glad you're out. You're obviously a survivor. Maybe your desire to share the story now is because you are ready to revisit that part of your life and have a proper closure.

I like what Mormon Observer shared, she cried when she ended her new relationship but all the pain and tears were really for the old love she never grieved. Her newer loss was the trigger for the real pain she had been carrying for years.

I wish you all the best.


Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
It is not too late to grieve, my friend. And, you should not feel like an idiot for doing so.

I am so sorry for the loss of your wife. How awful!

I would strongly suggest speaking to a professional grief counselor in your area. A good place to start looking for one is at your nearest hospital hospice.

It sounds like you really need some closure for your own well being.

Good luck. You will be in my prayers.

Re: The cult robbed me of my grief.
I too have a lump in my throat. I have long believed that the mormon church prevents people from truly grieving for the death of a loved one.....afterall....they are still ALIVE!!! So even if you are given the space to grieve, do you really?

My dad died when I was three years old. I was prevented from grieving due to my age. I was really clueless, but massively impacted by the loss. In retrospect I can see that this loss and lack of grieving gurgled to the surface throughout my life. Finally when I was 25 years old I started to realize that perhaps I needed to grieve. I did, as much as I could. Its hard without an acute cause to un-bury something so well buried. So it gurgled. I knew it was there and i tried to let it burn off steam from time to time. It wasn't until I met the man of my dreams when I was 32 that I was forced to go down that scary hallway and open ALL the doors(as he would put it)! I had flashbacks, nightmares, and LOTS of therapy. After almost 8 months of being together, my relationship is AMAZING! My point is, I wasn't able to fully grieve until I was forced to face the buried emotions or give up the love of my life.

My mom never re-married. She struggled to raise four kids on her own and was/is an amazing mother. She believes that my dad is in heaven, looking down on and watching us all. She believes that he is he never REALLY died. She is waiting for him. He is waiting for her. How could she betray him? She never tried very hard to date and remarry, which is totally fine, but knowing her it was because of deeply buried insecurities etc. She is now 60 and alone. I get teared up just thinking that the church may have robbed my mother of a happy loving relationship.

I think when you have a trauma as substatial as losing your wife or father or any loved one that you will grieve the rest of your life. Every new situation presents a new way to grieve. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Numbness is not uncommon....sometimes it the only way to survive. I am sure the time will come that you grieve for your lost wife. When that time comes, just be kind to yourself. Let it happen.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"