Losing loved ones
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04-04-2017, 03:25 PM
Losing loved ones
I am rather new to being an atheist I grew up in a strong Christian family and the church and at 18 I started questioning my faith and by 20 nothing in Christianity made sense to me anymore. I just found out that my grandfather has cancer for the third time in 5 years and this time it's stage 4 and he has less than a year and I don't knew how to deal with it without my faith I've never had to deal with death without it and everyone is saying god has a plan or we will pray for him and it's just making me feel worse how do you deal with death knowing there's nothing after life?
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04-04-2017, 03:32 PM
RE: Losing loved ones
I had to deal with it with my father and mother. Try as I might, I didn't rediscover faith when losing them. Just a fundamental sadness that it's the last I will see of them when they passed.

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04-04-2017, 03:32 PM
RE: Losing loved ones
Welcome to TTA.

(04-04-2017 03:25 PM)Kaybea97 Wrote:  ...
how do you deal with death knowing there's nothing after life?

Stoically.

False comfort is still comfort so it's understandable that they say that kinda stuff.

A non-believer finds comfort in thinking about a life well lived. And a reasonable legacy.

But dealing with believers' irrational comfort... I guess it's a case of not being too hard on them because they are victims of conditioning.

You're the lucky one.

Sad

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04-04-2017, 06:03 PM
RE: Losing loved ones
(04-04-2017 03:25 PM)Kaybea97 Wrote:  how do you deal with death knowing there's nothing after life?

I don't look for absolute meanings and don't think people need them. Looking for them just drives people crazy. Real meanings are relative. So take comfort from the relative achievements of your loved ones.
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04-04-2017, 06:07 PM
RE: Losing loved ones
Try to focus on spending time with him while he is still here. There will be things you will have wished you had talked to him about after he's gone...do it now.

You will be wasting your time, and his, worrying about what happens after.

And, I am sorry to hear that he is dealing with cancer AGAIN! Geez I hate cancer. And I am also sorry that you and your family are dealing with this.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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04-04-2017, 06:33 PM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2017 10:03 PM by dancefortwo.)
RE: Losing loved ones
Death is a natural, normal thing. The dying process is dreadful and I'm sorry you're having to go through this but death itself is natural. It's unnatural to live forever....nothing is forever. With no afterlife, the here and now become more precious and dear. Here and now is what is important.

I always think of death as the same as not existing before you were born. There's nothing wrong of horrible with nothingness. There was no pain or awareness before birth and you were none the worse for it either.

Both my parents are dead.... they didn't "pass on"....their dead. Dead, I tell you! Tongue But I really enjoy remembering them. It's one of the nicest parts of my life...remembering my parents. I have a lot of laughs telling my kids about the grandparents that they didn't really know. Yeah, I probably embellish the stories about my mom just a little, to spice them up, but she'd love me for it. Heart

Take care.

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He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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04-04-2017, 06:52 PM
RE: Losing loved ones
This quote always made me feel better. I've seen others post here more than once.

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Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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06-04-2017, 01:52 AM
RE: Losing loved ones
I lost both parents within a decade of each other. (Which may not sound so bad, but still.)
My father died of cancer in 2005. I was still... "spiritual" then. I think I was in that phase where I was realizing "none of this made sense." I'd gone from being Christian (raised in a fundie baptist church, then southern for a while where faith was served with a side of chicken and mashed potatoes - literally) to "searching," a bit of Wicca/neopaganism thanks to my wife at the time (and the first time I'd had to hide/misdirect anything about religion.) I had a hard time with that. Even if I believed, sort of, in some sort of afterlife, he was still gone, and it bothered me for a long time afterward.

Now, to be fair, we'd seen each other (with the rest of the family) that past thanksgiving. But I was on the other side of the country and couldn't make it back for his last days. Couldn't afford to.

In 2011-2013, my mom was dealing with cancer. I was living with her, having gotten divorced and needing to just go somewhere to deal and put the pieces back together. (And at this time... well, finally being able to say I was atheist, at least to myself, not her.) I went from son to primary caregiver and transportation to chemo and doctors' appointments. Breast cancer to the liver to the sheathing around the brain... at which point we agreed to just "make it comfortable, her time is coming," since further treatment would just add pain and not much time.

I *don't* know, looking back now, if it was the time spent with her, helping her fight and then just being there to *help* her, or my atheism, or a combination - probably the last. But I was much more able to deal with her passing. I couldn't handle seeing her wheeled out afterward, that was the hardest part... but for me, it wasn't that she was "in a better place" or any of the platitudes, but holding on to the fact she'd had a good life, she'd been a wonderful mom, she'd touched peoples' lives and she wasn't having to go through all the pain and frustration of doctors visits and chemo and losing her hair, that she'd fought and accepted what was coming at the end... those helped me.

She was at peace, with no regrets. And I coudl actually say goodbye, as opposed to wondering if I had a ghost-mom approving or disapproving of things.

I'm not trying to be glib with that last. My niece is more religious, and for years she was still wondering if my mom was "there" (note, my niece is... 30-ish now, with a family.) And if anything, her religious views seemed to just draw *out* the time she was hurt by my mom dying. My sister was sort of like that too, but not to as great an extent.

I guess at the end, being atheist helps you say goodbye and close that chapter, making it easier to move on to the "remember all the good times" phase after mourning.

My little rambling blog. (More topical than this one, at least.)
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06-04-2017, 05:11 AM
RE: Losing loved ones
(04-04-2017 03:25 PM)Kaybea97 Wrote:  how do you deal with death knowing there's nothing after life?

Perspective is one thing I like to mention. It seems grim thinking "when you die, you die for good", and yes it's painfull watching somebody slowly deteriorate, and you're are meant to feel sad about it, it's a natural human feeling.

In terms of the Perspective itself, I like to think of it as this: Value the time you have, be it yourself or with another person, because once it's done, it's done. In this case, as it's a terrible thing to have to see in a person, and when they pass on, you can use this time not only to grieve, but to remember who they were as a person and what you've learned from them.

Many years ago, I lost my great-grandmother. We were very close, and she taught me a lot about the world. I was upset at the time, as you would be, but following the funeral I spoke with my father, and the rest of the family and we all laughed/joked about the things we remember. I used this experience to move forward, and I now teach some of the things I learned from her to my own daughter.

Deal with the pain as best you can, but remember to value the time you have, and the time you've spent together. Atheism can seem negative, but its how you view the situation.

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