Before You Bury the Bastard: Preacher Don’t Omit This From the Eulogy

Brian Worley

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My father has just died (July 2020). The last time I had spoken with him was in 2016. Am I or will I be grieving? The answer is no, I am a survivor. The coping mechanism (grieving) is activated upon loss. It would better reflect reality to say that my grieving began at least 20 years ago upon sensing the hopelessness of our situation and the improbability of reconciliation.  

Improbable because humility is important. Humble people are open to reason, to having their actions scrutinized which can lead to change if need be. Improbable due to lack of family character. Pride is the nemesis. Love changes everything, love is a virtue. Love means you care that you are not puffed up, that you have compassion. It is a damn shame that a non-Christian must remind people that claim Christianity of the characteristics of love (I Corinthians 13:1-13…for those that need the reminder.) Practicing or real Christians insist upon the virtue. Love conquers fear, but fear clings to security and refuses to face up to demand.  

According to pop psychology, the maxim goes when a kid is bad, that kid is mad about something that was never addressed. He’s bad because he is mad. Given my title, perhaps you are curious if I want to shame or defame my father and family? I’d understand why you would think this, but what I’ve really wanted all along was to talk to a madman that was head of a nuclear family that refused dialogue. What angers me was my father’s cowardice, his refusal to dialogue, reason and face his demons as head of the family. The arrogance to just “write someone else” off because they refuse to be subjugated or bullied. Real men deal with issues, they don’t run from them.  

Let’s properly reframe things, shaming is what my family has sought to do to me. My family claims Christianity, in my eyes, I can’t square any of their behavior with I Corinthians 13. It would be unfair to place the roots of our issues solely upon my departure from Christianity. No, it goes back much further. In fact, the roots goes back to infancy. All my 1999 departure from Christianity did was to exasperate things.  

In life, some people are so cold blooded that it creates hardships. Some people shouldn’t have kids, but they do, and I’ve had to figure out on the fly how best to deal with the situation. It’s been the toughest, most unpleasant challenge of my life. The toughest stretches were growing up as a child 100% dependent upon my parents and subject to their moods.  

Look, in my case there was a lot of cruelty, beatings and child abuse from my father. My mother? My mother was complicit. Whereas most momma’s stand up and fight for their children…my mom wasn’t that way. Many women wouldn’t tolerate such behavior…the man wouldn’t be loved by the woman for abusing her child. That was my mom, that is what I've had to come to grips with. Often, through the years growing up I would plead for motherly protection. My mother didn’t appreciate this, in my 7th grade summer she flat you told me she wished I hadn’t been born. That didn’t compute with me then…but unwanted children shaped my views upon abortion.  

There is a lot of ugliness that I don’t want to re-hash here. Tell all’s goals are to shame. What I hope to accomplish with this is part therapeutic to help me cope and deal with the latter stages of grief. Second, religion has greatly complicated things; not due to it’s principles, but due to their abandonment which is a secularism topic of importance. Third, my family has caused a lot of pain, unnecessary pain and funerals are customarily venues where pain is usually dealt with. Going to the funeral, isn’t an option…it is complicated. Many of you know what I mean. Funerals are battlegrounds with my twisted family…yes, this is 100% accurate and fair! I’m a street-fighter that doesn’t mind mixing it up when necessary. Decency and ethics matter to me. I purchased the Bury the Bastard domain as a venue to house rebuttals to those dealing with seeming impossible situations. My family will be the prototype. It really angers me that preachers “sell out” at funerals, that they stand behind a casket or urn and discuss someone other than the subject at hand! This is NOT OK! God damned sell outs! Truth should matter. In memorandum, when you reflect upon someone’s life, contrarian viewpoints shouldn’t be muted! If you lived you life like God exists, I wouldn’t call you a sell out!  

All of us are going to die someday. Normal people, conscious people, especially those “with Jesus in your heart” normally contemplate the ending of their lives and how to genuinely clean-up unresolved issues before they pass. They reflect upon their values, those they love, and how they want to be remembered.  

Before my paternal grandmother died, I recall her anger and the words that I’ll always remember. She said, “I hate it when they look me in the eye and lie to me!” I winced, I knew she was talking about my father. When she died, I was in California. My NC family didn’t want me to attend her funeral, so they withheld informing me of her death and buried her less than 48 hours after she died. Similar shenanigans took place when my beloved Aunt Sis died to keep me away. Dam bastards…that is what Jesus does to some people’s hearts!  

I had publicly written about these two-funeral incident’s, so with my dad’s passing, the usual suspects found a proxy to relay my father’s passing on to me. Who did they choose? A man whose father was a church going pedophile with money. I suppose whenever you buy his kid a car, certain things can be overlooked. God how I hate pedophiles! God how I absolutely despise those that cover for them! Money grubbing Bastards!  

Some might be offended that I've used "bastards," that it is an impolite word. I'll remind you that it is a Biblical word that the Bible popularized. You're offended at the Bible!

Some preacher, for a few dollars, will “preach the funeral” of my father. Funerals are such a grand opportunity for that minister to make an impact with a message for the survivors. Sadly, he will probably do just like every other clergyman and have them sing a few songs, and talk about the glory of Heaven. Faint chance they will inquire or speak about what the man was really like…just don’t forget the gratuity.  

I’ve literally known thousands of preachers in my life. Not only from my ministry days, but from my years as an Olan Mills’ Church Directory Representative in California. I understand them. Do you know that I’ve never had one preacher, and only one person that knew me and my family simply ask about the stained relationship with my family? So many knew what was going on…yet, only one person had the “gall” to ask my mother or father pointed questions to seek accountability, seek repentance towards God and reconciliation with their son that they had been so vile towards for most of his life.  

My ministerial education required training in counseling. From that basis, I knew that if our situation stood any chance of reconciliation, counseling would improve those odds. Not content with the status quo, as far back as 2001 I sought professional help to resolve issues. I subjected myself to risk. Risk that the counselors might find a personal “blind spot” of mine. That they may confront me. That I might be my own worst enemy. This is why I discussed virtues earlier. For any plan to work, my parents would also need to do the same. I needed a “go between” to approach my parents.  

Of my two sisters, one cares about money, that is what is important to her. My other sister, Kathy, she had a conscious soul, Kathy was the one that nursed my bloody hands at the age of 5 (I won’t retell the story, I’ll provide the link.) Kathy was that “broker” between my parents and I. The deal was that I would have sessions with a trained counselor in Charlotte (I lived there in 2001) and that my parents would do the same with a trained counselor in Asheville. The agreement was that we would open each of ourselves up to a counselor…and later everyone would come together after the counseling sessions. I kept my end of the agreement, but my parents never attended one session…NOT ONE. Kathy was the go between, I asked her to press upon my parents that they keep to their agreement. All they did was to shirk responsibility and squeeze Kathy. In hindsight, I would do things differently today. That was difficult on her.  

I moved back to California afterwards, Kathy came out twice to see me and we had a real good time together. On her last visit, she broke down, and told me about a lot of stuff from her childhood and the aftermath and all the times she sought professional help to help her deal with what she had went through. No tell all, I’ll carry that conversation to the grave with me.  

Through the years, I’d seek to open dialogue and inquire of the possibility of reconciliation with my parents every so often. There were windows of time when dialogue was open between us and we spoke…but that nagging feeling that my grandmother alluded to was lurking around about being true & genuine.  

 Later, Kathy was diagnosed to have cancer and my parents made a visit to spend some time with her in Virginia. We lived an hour apart. To me, it was unfathomable how any grandparents would not want to see their new granddaughter whom they hadn’t seen. My parents would not drive an extra hour to see her…at that moment, the distaining words of my grandmother came to mind. Now, my daughter is a beautiful teenager. Her paternal grandparents have NEVER sent her any cards, never a birthday gift or a Christmas present. Her maternal grandmothers never fail to scrape a few nickels together for presents and always want her attention. This is the life I’ve had to live with my parents who “love Jesus” so much.  

My “family,” all of them profess to be Christians, just couldn’t help themselves when Kathy died to have her Memorial service 4-5 weeks later after specifically asking me when I could go…there was a 3-4 day period when they clearly knew I couldn’t attend…that is exactly when they scheduled it!  

I’ve kept this all to myself for many years. They have always sought to posture and control the narrative over the years. Through the years, one never knows who would be the first one to pass on. I finally reached the point that I had to accept reality…that nothing would ever change. As far back as 2001, when I had several sessions with a professional counselor about how to deal with such unloving parents. At that time, 19 years ago, we discussed how I would deal with the passing of either of my parents if they were to die first and in the event there were no reconciliation. That time has come.  

Preacher, before you sell your soul and place my father in Heaven. I want to remind you, my two soul warped siblings that survive, and my mother of what the scriptures actually teach about genuine Christianity, love and true faith. This is the standard of Heaven:  

 I Timothy 5:8  (KJV)

     But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.  

I John 2:8 (KJV) 

    He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.    

I John 4: 20-21

  20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

The hardships that family cruelty deposit have been very tough for me to deal with. Every so often when I see a normal loving family unit, sometimes I’d fantasize and wish that I could have known what that was like firsthand. It would have been nice to have a loving supportive family with traditions and holiday get togethers.  

My leaving Christianity in 1999 was like gas on a fire. The tension was high, and it was questionable if I was going to join them for Thanksgiving in 2000. I felt the greatest betrayal of their treatment towards me for walking away from faith. To make matters worse, then my mother told me that they were going to invite my brother-in-law’s pedophile father over for that Thanksgiving. I hit the roof! I berated them, challenged their human decency and promised them that I will definitely be talking with Johnny! I was then uninvited…they chose a pedophile over their apostate son!  

That incident though, was the start of my acceptance of how it was going to be going forward. I accepted my being their bastard son, I came to the realization that backward hillbillies were what they were. The years rolled on with little if any communication between us.  

As previously mentioned, every so often I’d seek to open dialogue. There was an incident when mom did show some tenderness, some concern, some compassion. I won’t go into it here, I was appreciative…I thought that perhaps my mom had matured after all those years. Up until that point, she had never asked to see her granddaughter, no cards, gifts, calls…no nothing.  

We played family again…on the phone for a few months. Now, I don’t believe that there is a devil, but I see why people say that there is one after the very last time I spoke with my father. There was a phone call when mother and I spoke first, then dad joined in later. My dad acted possessed, like a scene from the Exorcist, I’ve never heard such vileness! It was nasty!  

It was so bad, mom dropped the other phone line and told my father that she just couldn’t listen anymore to this. One of the last things my dad told me that he would kill me if he saw me. I challenged him, I told him that he was such a tough man beating up on a child. I asked, now that I’m older would you have the guts to say that to my face without any weapons? I welcomed a fair fight…just fisticuffs or wrestling. He doubled down, he meant weapons. He said if I ever come near, that I could count on his killing me. Remember Marvin Gaye? This is called filicide.  

That was the last time I ever spoke with my dad. I never called him an ugly name. I challenged most everything he said and I doubled down as well. I asked him…”Is this the way you want it?” “Do you want these to potentially be your last words to your son?”  

Due to my mom’s earlier kindness, my daughter and I drove down to NC for some whitewater and a chance opportunity for my mother to meet her granddaughter for the first time. Now, I couldn’t or would never place my daughter in danger. I had to figure out some way for us to meet…just my mom.  

I wished I could have planned, but my lunatic dad was very capable of following through on his threat to kill me. So, I made the 8-hour drive from Virginia, to be at a restaurant about a mile from my parents’ house. I called on a pay phone and my father picked up…so I hung up. I called back about 20 minutes later, and my mom picked up. I said hi mom, I regret how things are in the Worley family. I asked her if she would like to meet her granddaughter? I told her we were less than a mile away and that she could join us at the restaurant. She came, it was awkward, but it was a start. She had a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t stay too long…so we arranged to meet again later that day.  

When I called back, she asked if my father could join us? I reminded her about the last phone call between my father and I. I reminded her of the ugliness and death threat…I reminded her I would never subject my daughter to any of this. I reminded her that I view forgiveness as Jesus viewed forgiveness.  

She said…” What do you mean?” I simply said, “Jesus forgave those that asked…but they had to ask. People that don’t ask will not be forgiven. Jesus wasn’t a universalist…and neither was I. That they had to have a new mindset, whereas Jesus demanded repentance…I needed to know that dad had a changed mindset from before. I simply said, no that hasn’t happened…no father, especially a professing Christian should hate their own blood and threaten to kill them. NO DAD can’t come!”  

That was the last time I saw my mom. We spoke and I tried afterwards for a new start with mom….but the old, insincere, non-genuine manner of life returned. For the longest time, I felt that a man shouldn’t have to work that hard to make something work out. That a son shouldn’t have to press one’s parent’s to actually care about the life of their offspring. As we got closer to Christmas, my mom asked what we wanted for Christmas?  

I did have one simple request.  

I told my mom, “As kindly as I know how to say this…I don’t want any trinkets. That I don’t want money.” She asked, “What do you want?” My reply was this, “I just want what every kid wants from their parents and family…something that I’ve never had. Something that I’ve felt I shouldn’t have to ask for.” “I’ve just wanted to be consistently loved as a normal child would.” This is what I want.  

This offended her, evidentially she thought what we had was normal.  

The last communication I had with my mother was in January 2017. That was the way it ended with my father…my mother is still living. My family is impossible…writing is an outlet to help me deal with the way things are. Preacher, if you really want to know what the man was like, this was the man I knew.

this article was written by Brian Worley 

 

Brian Worley    Ex-Minister.org  July 19, 2020   All Rights Reserved

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