Father just died
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11-02-2012, 12:20 AM
Father just died
I usually visit the Facebook page for The Thinking Atheist but I did not want others seeing what I was posting about. My father died this Thursday morning the 9th. He was at a Hospital going through rehabilitation after suffering 2 heart attacks after having his only leg left amputated. He came close to death earlier in January but over come it. We thought he was doing really well and might come home in the next week. But he had another massive heart attack which resulted in his death. I arrived after they had tried to restart his heart but couldn't. I was there minutes after he died. This has devastated me and I have never felt such pain. And tomorrow is his service. My Dad was not a faithful person but was a believer. So is my mom. There will be a pastor and a sermon and I don't know how I am going to respond. He has 5 brothers and sisters who are believers to some of are very religious. Me and my brother are both Atheist. We are trying to deal with the loss of our father the best we can but are also getting pushed on by relatives about god on top of everything else. They are already upset that we are having him cremated even though that was his wish upon his death. They tried to bully us in to burying him but we stood strong together to honor his wishes. I am in so much pain and I miss my Dad so much. And I don't know that I can stand another statement from people saying he's in a better place. Nor do I know how best to handle his service with out offending anyone but not pretending to be something I am not. I am a atheist and my brother is. My Dad knew this and supported us fully. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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11-02-2012, 03:14 AM
RE: Father just died
Please anyone with some advice that could help me I could use it. It's 4:10 am and in a little over 4 hours I will be meeting with my family to go to the funeral home. I am really stressing over this. Im gonna be seeing my Dad for the first time since he had just been declared dead. The image of him laying there is burnt in to my memory and I am hurting so bad. And I don't know how I am gonna face this.
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11-02-2012, 03:41 AM
RE: Father just died
Sorry that you haven't gotten a response yet. I'm an hour behind you, but awake well past my normal limit. You know what your father's wishes were, keep those and you will feel much better about everything in the end. If you really worry about upsetting and offending others ask how often they are upsetting and offending you right now. Being accepting of others does not mean ignoring your needs or the desires your father left. A will is one last desire of a person before their death to impact the lives of their families. He gave you instructions of what to do when the time comes so that this would be easier for you. Yes he may have had other reasons for his desires, but I've found that all who prepare a detailed will verbal or written feel relieved that it will ease the suffering of their children or parents.

I'm sorry you had to wait so long for a response but the forum is pretty inactive during this time. In the end no one can truly be that mad that his wishes were fulfilled. Even if they see a deeper religious meaning it's not your fault your dad wanted things done a certain way, and you can't be faulted for letting him have his say. I hope you can keep it together at the service. religious funeral services are very hard to take especially because they tend to make you the victim of your own families need of closure. Do everything you can for your father not for everyone and you will at the end of the day feel things went well. If you fold to the will of those who simply want it their way then in the end you will feel he never got his last wish.

Sorry that you have to go through all of this without the ability to be more prepared, but this sort of thing is impossible to prepare for. Be glad that your brother will join you in most likely wanting what your father desired. Let them have their funeral service, but your father's death is his own, not some church's.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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11-02-2012, 03:44 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2012 04:07 AM by Logisch.)
RE: Father just died
Hey man, difficult circumstances to welcome you to the forums. But props to you for reaching out in a time of need.

I'm very sorry to hear about your father. I think it is extremely admirable that you are sticking to your father's wishes. I know that when I die someday, the most I can hope for is that my loved ones would honor my wishes as well. I might even leave a letter that tells anyone who feels otherwise can go screw off in my will, we'll see.

I think at the same time it's important to remember that everyone will mourn differently. In times of need as an atheist, I find sticking to my family and friends always helps. Support of a family and friends is important. While others may rely on their religious faith and feel the need to push on others, we are all different.

I see no reason at your own father's funeral that you should feel like you need to be someone you are not. If it were me, I know I'd stand up to be myself for my father, I know if I did he'd be proud and I know he'd support me in doing so. Losing loved ones is so incredibly hard man. At the same time I would simply remind to keep in mind to be understanding of others and their beliefs and ways of mourning. It doesn't mean not to be yourself, just understand that many people will have different feelings, different ways of mourning and different ways of wanting to mourn.

Again... I think it's great that you are keeping to your father's wishes and that is important. Your dad sounds like a great guy if he was willing to support you in your values. I'd say uphold that, be what your dad would be proud of. The worst thing we can do upon the loss of a loved one is be forever resentful, angry or upset. The best thing we can do is honor their wishes, remember them, keep their memory alive and appreciating what they taught us, the good times we had and never forgetting it.

I had an uncle die not long ago. He fought cancer for years before he finally lost the fight. He was a tough old bastard. He was never of faith and I knew that. I always kind of respected him for it. I knew he was a spiritual guy. But he kept on kicking till he died. He was the most sarcastic, satirical bastard I knew and I loved that about him. To this day I always remember his witty comebacks and his great sense of humor. I remember about a few years back when I found out he was on his way out we had started talking cars. I never knew he liked cars. Turns out, he loved aircooled cars. Old vws. I brought over one of my cars and showed him and we talked aircooled cars for a while. Learned a lot from him. I've always been an addict of aircooled cars (P-Cars, mostly). Every time I spin a wrench on one of my cars I think about all the time my dad has spent with me on my cars. Every time I work on one of my aircooled cars, I think of my uncle.

I sure do miss the guy. He was one of the few people I knew that would tell it like it is, not put up with any bullshit and would call you out on something if you sounded stupid. Too bad the rest of my uncles are nincompoops.

At his funeral we shared a lot of stories. Someone asked me what one of my favorite moments was with him. I told them when I introduced my wife to him. They asked why and I remember the interaction with my wife...

Him: "So you must be pretty ballsy to marry this asshole."
My wife: *kind of surprised*
Him: "You think you can put up with all his bullshit?"
My wife: *clicked with his tone* "Someone has to keep his ass in line!"
Him: *looks at me while talking to my wife* "I guess someone has to. Promise me you'll kick his ass if he gets out of line, and you have my full permission to do it."

We all laughed pretty hard.

I guess what I'm getting at. The people that make us laugh and enjoy life, the few that make us proud and the few that can put a smile on our face on a daily basis are always to be appreciated it. It's really hard to lose those people, it can be devastating. When they're gone, don't forget them. Find a reason to remember them, find a way to remember them. To me, I would rather celebrate their life than be eternally sad. Mourn, do what you NEED to do to feel better. Let it out, talk about it, cry, yell, be upset, it's fine. But when that's done, find a way to be happy about the times that you enjoyed with them.

If you need to tell people how you feel about his passing, do it, go for it. If it helps you mourn, remember him, come to peace with it, remember, he was YOUR dad. You can be yourself, let your feelings out and do it in such a way that doesn't have to tread on others. Even if it starts with: "In my opinion." or "The way I have always seen things..." or "Even though others may feel differently..."

Again, sorry for your loss man. I hope others will chime in as well.

For what it's worth.. I generally don't like music during times of mourning. However, I've often enjoyed this video, it always reminds me of the people I love and have lost over the years. Even if you don't understand german, if you can watch it all the way through, you'll get it. If I recall an interview with them, they've mentioned a few times they're atheist. The song itself is about losing a loved one. It's quite beautiful, even when things go bad, his friends help him fulfill what he aimed for, help him to the top, beautiful ending. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pkLDEEs20U Ohne Dich - Without You
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11-02-2012, 03:56 AM
RE: Father just died
So many deaths in such a short time......I am sorry to hear about your father's passing.

I have recently lost family members as well and I had to deal will religious garbage trying to give me orders on what to do for the funeral. The only advice for you I have is this. He is your father. I any fool tries to tell you to do something against your father's wishes I suggest you look them in the eye and tell them to fuck off. It's that simple.

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11-02-2012, 04:17 AM
RE: Father just died
Sorry for your loss, dude.
I think Logisch has it right.
It's a time for rememberance and not for anger / preaching etc. So keep the flock talking about his life and not his afterlife and you'll all be on common ground. I mean if the conversation goes to god-stuff just interrupt with "What was your favourite memory about him...?"
But, for your sanity.... stay true to yourself or you'll hate yourself in the morning.
Good luck and share later how you got on.
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11-02-2012, 06:09 AM
RE: Father just died
(11-02-2012 12:20 AM)Democritus74 Wrote:  I usually visit the Facebook page for The Thinking Atheist but I did not want others seeing what I was posting about. My father died this Thursday morning the 9th. He was at a Hospital going through rehabilitation after suffering 2 heart attacks after having his only leg left amputated. He came close to death earlier in January but over come it. We thought he was doing really well and might come home in the next week. But he had another massive heart attack which resulted in his death. I arrived after they had tried to restart his heart but couldn't. I was there minutes after he died. This has devastated me and I have never felt such pain. And tomorrow is his service. My Dad was not a faithful person but was a believer. So is my mom. There will be a pastor and a sermon and I don't know how I am going to respond. He has 5 brothers and sisters who are believers to some of are very religious. Me and my brother are both Atheist. We are trying to deal with the loss of our father the best we can but are also getting pushed on by relatives about god on top of everything else. They are already upset that we are having him cremated even though that was his wish upon his death. They tried to bully us in to burying him but we stood strong together to honor his wishes. I am in so much pain and I miss my Dad so much. And I don't know that I can stand another statement from people saying he's in a better place. Nor do I know how best to handle his service with out offending anyone but not pretending to be something I am not. I am a atheist and my brother is. My Dad knew this and supported us fully. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I remember how hard it was when I lost my dad who also had suffered through health problems preceding his death. I offer my condolences.

You were correct to honor your father's wishes. This is not a decision that was to be changed by the personal beliefs of relatives. I am a Christian, but if my father had specified he did not want a Christian service I would have done my best to have his wishes fulfilled.

I had a friend who died suddenly during a race almost 20 years ago. We had talked about death just a month earlier even though he was very healthy. He was agnostic (brought up Unitarian), but like many agnostics he had an open and inquiring mind and he was more spirtual by my definition than many who professed belief in God. His wife arranged an Anglican funeral for him, but somehow I doubt he had a problem with that. What was important was that his friends were there and remembering his life. Allow your father's relatives their beliefs but be true to youself. I hope that they will honor your feelings as this is not a time to impose upon your grief. A bit over a year ago I went to the funeral of another co-worker I had known for decades. His wife arranged a Buddhist funeral which I found no less fitting than if it had been Anglican (nominally the faith of the co-worker).

Once again I am sorry for your pain.
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11-02-2012, 11:00 AM
RE: Father just died
Sorry for your loss. I've recently gone through similar scenarios with loved ones who've passed away. Some great advice so far.
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11-02-2012, 12:31 PM
RE: Father just died
Sorry for your loss.

My grandmother passed away several months ago. She wanted cremation, but my religious family (her two sons) stepped in and demanded she not only be buried, but baptized while in a coma in hospice. She was not a believer, but was not openly atheist. So she was baptized by a Catholic priest and a Lutheran pastor. I didn’t get in the way. This was all for their benefit anyway. If it made them feel as if they somehow got her to heaven, then so be it.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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11-02-2012, 01:06 PM
RE: Father just died
Hi. Welcome to TTA

I will get back to this tread but I have little time at the moment. In our "the freethinking life" section of the forum we have collected some treads on how some of us have dealt with loss and grieving. perhaps you can already find some inspiration there.

I'll get back to you asap.

the thread can be found here

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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