Grief Without God Is A Challenge For Atheists
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29-02-2012, 08:44 AM
RE: Grief Without God Is A Challenge For Atheists
There are many levels of grief.

I have lost my dad, my mom, my brother, and a number of close friends, and I grieved for all of them.

But no way was I prepared for the grief that consumed me (no better word for it) when my husband died. We shared our lives and bed for almost 30 years. We were true life partners, and we were a great match.

Grief like that cannot be controlled by rational thought at all. That is what surprised me most of all. I thought after losing all these other people in my life, I was prepared. WRONG!

The second surprise was that the pain is PHYSICAL. First I felt disembodied. I was floating is the best I can describe it. Life became a dream, not reality. I floated through life for the first week or so.

Then the pain became physical. I was back on earth but every part of my body ached. You can't rationalize something like that away, you have ZERO control over it.

Week 3, the physical pain started to recede, and that's when the real trouble started. My emotions were totally out of control. There were no 5 minutes when he didn't pop into my head. I could sit down to work and get something done - tears rolling down my cheeks. I could sit there and tell myself it was stupid and he was ok with it (he was) and seconds later - tears.

And it's not at all like I can't live without him, I actually generally like being alone, and I have always been independent and I don't really need him for anything practical.

It's been 2 months now, and I am still pretty much out of control. I work, I eat, I sleep, I think of him constantly, everything reminds me of him. I dream about his death all the time. I cry without any discernable reason.

As far as anyone can see, I function perfectly, I produce good work, I take care of the animals, I function fine online, I take care of myself. But I am a complete wreck.

So I set out to research grieving and find that this is all normal. That it will get better for a while and that the worst is yet to come (WTF?) That every aspect of life (smells, tastes, dates, holidays, places, friends etc etc) will trigger me until I have experienced them several times without him. And they say that once that is all done, the emotional turmoil will cease and the real issue will set in - emptiness. All gone. Everyone expecting you to be over it already. And you're not. Isolation. No motivation. No purpose. No life.

After that one has to set out to rebuild life from scratch. And they say the pain will never go away completely - but one has to learn to not talk about it or him because others will only think you are nuts if you keep on talking about him all the time.

That's what I have learned about grief and I am only a short distance into the whole thing. It helps a bit though to know what to expect , and it helps a lot to know that I am not alone and not crazy. You really start thinking you have gone nuts.

And how does atheism fit into it? The only way it fits in is that people become as annoying as hell. All that gibberish about god's will and god's plan for me and god calling him home and and and - makes me want to scream. I really don't need all that crap on top of what I am going through.

My husband was atheist also, and he knew he was going, and he was fine with it. He said he wasn't scared and he was at peace with it, he just didn't want to leave me. There was nothing traumatic about his death, he went very peacefully.

So, what the heck is this grief thing? I am not worried about him, he was at peace. I am not worried about me, I have great survival skills. So what on earth is this thing I am going through? Totally irrational.

[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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30-01-2013, 06:11 AM
RE: Grief Without God Is A Challenge For Atheists
Wow Dom. I see by the date your post is nearly a year old, I sincerely hope that time has somewhat assuaged the intensity of your loss.

“I suppose our capacity for self-delusion is boundless."
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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