Rest in Peace Bill and Joy James ... my parents.

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
I have decided to post this, even though it is very personal. Ours is not the only family. And because many people knew her.
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My mother Joy James passed away Monday night 20th July, peacefully. The 'peace' provided by morphine, because, bless her heart, she struggled right to the end of her 84 years. She had diabetes, heart problems and finally advanced dementia. She had my dad on one side and my sweet young niece on the other … she had arrived minutes before and provided the rush of pure love that my mum needed to ease her pain.

I don't mean physical pain here, medication took care of that. I mean spiritual pain, as I will explain.

Mum was a battler and yet a woman of her generation, the 30's. She was expected to marry and raise a family with her husband as the sole authority. That didn't always suit her and yet she was bound by society and circumstance to follow, and she did. Mostly.

She and my dad Bill met through the Methodist church they both attended and were inseparable from that time on.

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Both devout Christians, Mum was a teacher and dad a carpenter, they had 6 children within 10 years. Dad built us all a house 'in the bush', (now a luxury area of Sydney) doing most of the work himself. I am the eldest child and I can honestly say that I had a pretty normal and happy childhood. We went to Church every Sunday and had a typical Australian suburban life through the 50's and 60's.

In later years I came to understand just how difficult that life was for Mum though. Dad was working all hours and she was left in the middle of nowhere to raise 6 children, alone and without support. The odd grandparent visits were more a trial of judgement for her and I admire the amazing strength it took to do what she did. I remember when she learned to drive and took all us kids up the road to the local milk bar (general grocery store) which was the only shop within many miles. She hit the accelerator instead of the brake and ended up in a clump of trees … no damage and after recovering from the shock it was all just so exciting because Mum could now drive us places. She was so determined not to allow her isolation to continue.

Then in 1964 our life changed forever. Dad found scientology.

He was always and still is a spiritual seeker and in that period of his life it seemed to provide the answers for him. After a full day's labour he would drive 25 miles each way into Sydney org to do courses, which made Mum's life that much harder. She resented it terribly. I was not particularly aware of the extent of this until a few years later when my brother and I first went into the org and started 'talking the talk', as you do. Mum would go ballistic - “don't you do that ack thing to me!” she raged at her innocently arrogant offspring.

However she really had no choice but to follow her husband. When Dad decided that the whole family was going to join the Sea Org in 1968, she did what a good wife did and packed up the family of 6 children, and when Dad sold the house for a pittance and we set off across the world to follow his dream. She told my brother she “was worried for his mortal soul” and prayed for him, and she did what she felt would help him most as the trip was only supposed to be for 6 months. There were quite a few other families that did the same at the time, even though scientologists were banned from entering the UK for study or work. By the time we arrived, Mum had somehow accepted scientology and over the next decades became totally immersed in the life, maybe even more so than dad. We did not make it to the ship to join the Sea Org, thank goodness, and settled at Saint Hill.
 
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Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

And so began our scientology life abroad. Mum and dad both worked on staff at different times and mum was very liked around Saint Hill, she was a choir member with Bobby Richards and an enthusiastic participant in whatever she did. I am not going to try to remember all her activities, it's enough to say that many people knew and admired her. I don't know all the details of her scientology training and auditing, other than she started to have heart problems on OT3 and did eventually attain OT5. One event that I remember is that when she was being audited on something or other she came home and told me that she had 'run an incident where I had been a queen of some sort and she was my handmaiden', and that was why she got so upset cleaning up after me. Ahh well.

I think Mum felt it her duty to teach her children, or other children, as much as she could, whether they wanted it or not. It took me 40 years to reignite my flame of creativity, squashed because I “wasn't doing it the right way”. She meant well, but she was the teacher. When my little sister became deaf, Mum learnt sign language and taught it as well. She spent a decade designing a series of teaching aids that unfortunately didn't see the light of day. The desire to teach and inform coupled with the never-ending scientology imperative to make money kept her going in an absolute obsession, a loop that kind of burnt itself out without either happening.

The sad part of her story is what happened to her own children. When a parent becomes a scientologist, everything changes. Their 'eternal survival' and the constant pressure to do more and more has the effect of making children fade into the background as individuals. My younger brother was sent to a Sea Org ship when he was 14 or 15 … a shy child alone in the world from then on. I was sent to join the Sea Org in Edinburgh although I was 16 and pregnant. My younger siblings often had to fend for themselves, my sister told me a story of how they sometimes boiled sugar and water to make caramel to eat as they were so hungry while our parents were off saving the world, and they were very young. They were neglected simply because there were more important things for my parents to do.

My story is posted elsewhere so I will keep this brief, however one significant event was that my parents adopted my baby girl, after I was offloaded from the Sea Org in Edinburgh and was made to join staff at World Wide (then the International Management org) just before her birth. This was a very loving thing to do, to keep the baby within the family, yet the repercussions and misunderstandings surrounding this continue to this day. My parents made this decision because I was 16, on staff and couldn't cope, and also because they felt she was “a spiritual being who had chosen me as a way of joining the family as they were too old to have more children”. So in their eyes, I was never her mother, just a vessel for birth. There wasn't really a choice in the matter.

As Mum and Dad raised her as their daughter, it seemed easier for her to have the same surname so a legal adoption went ahead. However it was a court stipulation that she be informed of her true identity, which she was, she has always known who I am and we were very close in later years, until I spoke out and disconnection reared it's ugly head. Mum didn't ever let go of her mother role though and it went so far that my granddaughter wasn't informed of the true relationship to me until her late teens. Mum once said to me “*** is my daughter by another father”. That still makes me very sad. Needless to say I ended up with some 'mother issues' (and I wasn't the only one.)

Mum's life was so full of dramatic changes and events that she coped with to the best of her ability and in later years we began to understand each other better. I admire her courage, her persistence, her creativity and her desire to be her own person. One by one most of the children came back to Australia and my parents returned here in 1983. But we were scattered all over the country and very much a disintegrated family. They drifted away from scientology, mostly because they had no more money and were sick of the pressures, were 'old and of no use', so flew 'under the radar'. Everything they had ever had was gone and they were pensioners.

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Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Sincere condolences, Free To Shine.

Your Mother was a wonderful person, in my estimation.
I can't think of anything else to say, really.
I knew it was inevitable but I'm saddened beyond words right now.
Rest In Peace, Joy.
Condolences to Bill and the whole Family. :bigcry:
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

The last time I saw Mum was Christmas 2006, and as I was leaving she just looked into my eyes and said “I'm sorry.” Those two words encompassed so much, so very much. After that, due to physical and financial matters, I was unable to travel interstate and we only had the odd contact from afar as her dementia progressed.

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In the last decade or so there have been 5 times when she was expected to die from heart attacks or strokes, yet she hung in there. As a family we have already experienced just about every emotion there is. Mum mourned the fact that her family was so scattered across the world and could not really understand why, and her role in that. She didn't understand that to receive love you need to express love, care and interest. She barely knew or had any real interest in her grandchildren once they became teens and young adults. Unfortunately scientology tends to bring out the narcissist in the best of us and there are consequences.

Mum's dementia progressed steadily and although she received care, it was the sort that has “just drop the body” as the main theme. Unfortunately this came from both my dad and family caring for her and there was even an intense conversation with Mum to get her to “apply the right condition” so she could leave her body, probably more than once. That still makes me sick to think about, words cannot express my disgust. She must have felt so alone and unwanted. Having people around her who think they are doing the best thing for her by pushing her 'to let go/ this meat body is of no more use' and sitting there patting her head and waiting for it to happen – for YEARS - was something Mum struggled with so much, I could feel it coming off her in waves. That's why the arrival of my niece at the end moments was so wonderful. I know she felt that true love and connection she so needed.

Mum and Dad had 2 years of respite from this theme whilst in care of another family member, but late last year, through awful circumstances, they were moved into a Nursing home … and these few months later Mum has passed away. And at 87 years old my Dad remains frail and confused yet also feeling his life can begin now, after the waiting. (His dementia is now progressing steadily too.) He told me yesterday “I am glad I knew Joy” and his voice broke. Their 64 years together is a testament to loyalty, love and a shared journey.

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Bless you Mum, I love you and thank you for doing your best. That's all any of us can do.

Sue Thompson (James)

:heartflower:

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?4835-30-Years-in-Scientology
 
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I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Very, very sad Sue.

Scientology truly wrecked your family life and to this day I know you feel it.

I'm glad your Ma apologised and your loving acceptance must have eased her mixed up feelings about the whole thing.

Love to you.

RIP Joy.


:rose::rose::rose:
 

Glenda

Crusader
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

My love and sincerest condolences Free to Shine.

Whew, bit emotional here. You have told the story beautifully.

There is a lit candle in front of me, for Joy.

R.I.P Joy. :rose:

Warm love to you FTS.
Glenda :hug:
 

Karen#1

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.


A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, Sometimes, (I truly believe) they can become a little angel watching over us.

May the constant love of all your friends (and you have many) soften your sadness and bring you moments of comfort dear Sue

Sending you lots of warmth and hugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggs. xoxoxoxoxo


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Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Thanks for the replies above, it really helps. There are still so many challenges within my family, and my little write-up above would not be welcome at the official organised-by-the-scientology-influenced Memorial I am sure. Let them do their thing and I have done mine.


I posted this on Facebook the other day because it's just so lovely.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.


- Mary Elizabeth Frye -
 
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Glenda

Crusader
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Peace my heart…

Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.


~ Rabindranath Tagore

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Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Thanks for the replies above, it really helps. There are still so many challenges within my family, and my little write-up above would not be welcome at the official organised-by-the-scientologists Memorial I am sure. Let them do their thing and I have done mine.


I posted this on Facebook the other day because it's just so lovely.

That's a beautiful poem FTS. Thanks for your posts about the lives of the people in your family. The very simple way you have written about such complex emotional events was quite striking. I don't know how to express it. It sort of took my breath away.

It's good to hear that your mother gave you something you needed from her with her apology. And it's good to hear that she had medication to keep her physically comfortable, and your father, and her niece, to give her what she needed.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Thanks DB, wow. Maybe that's why I have never been able to write a book, I try to convey the overall picture of incredibly complex situations in a way that is as easy as possible to follow. The truth is that if I started to include all the emotion and the detail, I wouldn't get done for a few years. Maybe a decade. :)
 

ozzie

Patron with Honors
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Dearest Sue,

I don't know what to say except how very sorry I am for your loss. I feel your pain so deeply, it just brings to the surface how very wrong this disconnection policy of the Church of Scientology is. My mum and dad are both very saddened by your loss and miss their connection to your dad they had. I am so very lucky to have them both in my life right now.

Here's something I think might apply: I hope so, it seems to fit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXxRyNvTPr8

I hope this works, not sure how to paste links in here.

Much Love and hugs to you Sue,

:bigcry:
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Thanks love, I know you know the stories behind the stories and you have just as many. I'll PM you Dad's phone number. :hug:
 
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Sue,

I'm so sorry for what you've been through and for the lose of your mom. I do believe that it is true that whenever someone passes on, a little part of them stays with every person that loved them. As long as you remember her, and keep her close in your heart, she is not totally gone.

I love the "Do not stand at my grave and weep" poem. When my number is "called" (which I hope is not for many years), I know I would like someone to read that aloud.
 

still here

Patron with Honors
Re: Rest in Peace Joy James ... my mum.

Thanks DB, wow. Maybe that's why I have never been able to write a book, I try to convey the overall picture of incredibly complex situations in a way that is as easy as possible to follow. The truth is that if I started to include all the emotion and the detail, I wouldn't get done for a few years. Maybe a decade. :)

It would be worth the wait - you have such a gift FTS.

What a journey you have had, and what a family.

I am very sorry for your loss.

You possess a wonderful sensitivity and connection to people, how you achieved that given the circumstances I have no idea, but it makes you truly beautiful and special.

:rose:
Still
 
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