It must have been so difficult to be in your position and I think it is wonderful that you have that certainty of a new beginning in heaven where countless families will be reunited and restored. I hope that families who are going through the same situation right now will read your post and maybe understand the pressures their loved ones are faced with.
Because our experience happened in the last decade, we were fortunate to have a lot of information both from excellent books like 'Releasing the Bonds' by Hassan but also we became very good friends with ex COG and other group members. Some of them had great faith, others had abandoned all beleif. All of them were and indeed are wonderful people; loving , kind, altruistic but sadly it was through these great qualities that they had become ensnared.
Our loved one came out 2 years ago physically and is only now beginning to talk about the pain and the experience. Its strange. Its like the fridge has been unplugged and this is the 'great thaw'. And as we learn of all the crap that went on in the group, we feel guilty that we didnt intervene more strongly earlier on. We are so lucky that we are all back together, although we dont always know how to help other than allowing time and space for the thaw to continue.
The hardest bit to deal with is the anger. Although pacifists by nature , just about everyone in our family can understand why these leaders have to live in secret locations and avoid being recognised. They are quite rightly very scared of meeting a mother or a father of an ex member like myself who would be very tempted to set aside restraining principles and go for natural retribution. And everyone of us deplore the words and the actions of apologists who tolerate groups like these and offer them encouragement as they deprive individuals of their natural support systems. I wouldnt like to be in their shoes when they reach their twilight years and have all the time in the world to reflect on the injustices they have being part of.
Linda I was deeply touched by your post and I wish you eternal hugs with your family both here and in heaven.
PS you will probably notice my efforts to avoid disclosing too much info but we have friends who are still in and we dont want to lose touch.