Dying spouse
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15-02-2017, 11:14 PM
Dying spouse
I have a dilemma on my hands.
I am an atheist married for 47 years to a woman, who is not religious, but still believes in some form of afterlife.
She has been very recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and could go any minute or live a few more weeks. The type of cancer, she has, is extremely rare, there are really no precedents.
My problem is, that she told me today, that she will be "waiting for me". We had a very happy relationship, with absolute mutual trust. I have never lied to this woman and I certainly do not want to start lying in her last days.
I was too choked to reply. If she says that again, I do not want to tell her, that I do not think, that I will coming. I also cannot lie to her.
I could truly use some advice from somebody who has experienced something similar.
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15-02-2017, 11:39 PM
RE: Dying spouse
Hi. Welcome to TTA.

With all sympathy ... two options:

1) Say nothing ... just hold her.
2) "Make sure you do"

If god didn't mean us to lie, he would not have created deception.

Hug

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15-02-2017, 11:43 PM
RE: Dying spouse
(15-02-2017 11:14 PM)Notabene Wrote:  I have a dilemma on my hands.
I am an atheist married for 47 years to a woman, who is not religious, but still believes in some form of afterlife.
She has been very recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and could go any minute or live a few more weeks. The type of cancer, she has, is extremely rare, there are really no precedents.
My problem is, that she told me today, that she will be "waiting for me". We had a very happy relationship, with absolute mutual trust. I have never lied to this woman and I certainly do not want to start lying in her last days.
I was too choked to reply. If she says that again, I do not want to tell her, that I do not think, that I will coming. I also cannot lie to her.
I could truly use some advice from somebody who has experienced something similar.

Hug

Heart

I'll just second what DLJ posted.

Also the forum member Banjo might be of some consolation, having recently gone through the trials of therapy and perhaps they can also offer words?
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16-02-2017, 12:02 AM
RE: Dying spouse
Ok I can only find some relation to your story, I have considered my self atheist for pretty much my whole life... I hate cancer in all forms... anyway i considered my self atheist my old man believed in some kind of after life when he told me that he would see me again all i could do is say i hope so too, and we both broke down and shed some tears. I didn't try to convince him that there wouldn't be an after. I still consider myself to be atheist and it is helping me cope with the loss of my father.

It really doesn't matter what you say in this terrible time except to be there to make the last days comfortable. that is all we can do just try to chase that good feeling that feeling of being happy in a moment, because that's what life is all about trying feel good. make the last time you have with your loved one, a good time.

I would say the same thing hope to see your love again even if you don't believe you will if only for the comfort you would give your loved one. we all have a beginning and an end life is the journey in between get your love to laugh as much as you can... we all care.
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16-02-2017, 12:14 AM
RE: Dying spouse
Hugs to the both of you. Let her hold onto her beliefs of seeing you again. Like DLJ said, if she mentions it again just hold her and tell her you love her.
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16-02-2017, 12:25 AM
RE: Dying spouse
I would also add that comforting someone is not the same thing as lying. What I mean is, if I was in a similar situation and the believer said I'll wait for you-- I would probably say something like "If there is any way to find you, you can be sure I will." My partner, who knows I'm an atheist would get what I meant.

That said, I think you have to do what's right for you in your situation and what you feel comfortable with.
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16-02-2017, 02:18 AM
RE: Dying spouse
My deepest sympathies for you!

If you love her, and there is no doubt about that, then you might think about *swallowing* a "little lie" for her. I think its probably better for you to deal with having lied to her than to risk some enstrangement (on her deathbed) just because of this silly afterlife stuff.

May you have strenght to deal with this situation! I am still dealing with the death of my mother 4 weeks ago. Hug

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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16-02-2017, 05:51 AM
RE: Dying spouse
She's right - in a way.

You'll remember her and keep her memory alive.

You're her afterlife.

Make it count.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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16-02-2017, 06:40 AM
RE: Dying spouse
You'll be seeing A LOT of her, especially in the immediate time after she passes.

Your brain will constantly be triggered, she will come to mind every time you do, see, smell etc. anything you associate with her. Her presence will be palpable. (This is likely one of the reasons so many cultures have the after life myth). Like it or not, your brain will keep referring back to her.

So, it's not a lie, tell her you love her and that would be wonderful.

Don't be pulling the rug out from under her, you'll be living with guilt and she'll be passing in turmoil.

There is simply no point in correcting her either - except your need to be right. Does that supercede her need to die peacefully? I say not!

That said, I am sorry you two have to go through that. I know how it feels. Heart

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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16-02-2017, 07:22 AM
RE: Dying spouse
May I start with I am sorry for you both!
I am an atheist and my wife is more of a deist! Coming from Welsh Baptists.
We have had our talk on death and she is holding on to an afterlife. As we get closer to our expiration date as I have already past my best before date some time ago!

For your wife this is important, she needs to feel that there is something else out there. Is it worth having that fight, now? I think not! As for thinking it will come up again. It probably will. So when she does ask or tell you, just ask her what will she be wearing ask her will it be her best dress or something else more wonderful!
If she needs hope let her have it, your time together is something you will look back at time and time, again. And to know you gave her personal hope in her personal belief when she needed it!
That is the best thing you can give her!
I hope this will help!
If you can keep us up to date on yourself and your wife! K:

Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!
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