Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
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02-07-2014, 11:33 AM
Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
Grief beyond Belief is a Facebook group for non believers during a time of grief. Seth did an interview with the person who runs it once on the podcast.

Now they are writing a book and are looking for stories to publish.

follow the link for more information and to submit your story.

http://www.griefbeyondbelief.org/seeking...lief-book/


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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02-07-2014, 01:23 PM
RE: Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
Thanks for posting this. My father passed away last December and religion was central to my family's grieving/conversations and to the funeral which made things even harder for me. So I'm considering submitting my story.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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03-07-2014, 08:03 AM
RE: Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
I suspect this subject will be of more interest to Americans than to non-Americans. I've come to realise (through TTA and elsewhere) that being an atheist in (certain parts of) the US is rather different than in other parts of the world. My atheism has never been an issue. I live in Holland but I'm Australian. I've never gone out of my way to tell people of my atheism, but I've never tried to hide it. In neither country has it been an issue. So, I don't see my grief as being any different to what my mother (Catholic) or my sister (JW) or my other sister (atheist) or my brother (mysogynistic, racist dickhead) felt when we lost a loved one.

I like Greta's articles on Alternet. I read "Why are you atheists so angry?" a few months ago. That book was part of "elsewhere", BTW.

I look forward to reading the new book.
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03-07-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
(03-07-2014 08:03 AM)jockmcdock Wrote:  I suspect this subject will be of more interest to Americans than to non-Americans. I've come to realise (through TTA and elsewhere) that being an atheist in (certain parts of) the US is rather different than in other parts of the world. My atheism has never been an issue. I live in Holland but I'm Australian. I've never gone out of my way to tell people of my atheism, but I've never tried to hide it. In neither country has it been an issue. So, I don't see my grief as being any different to what my mother (Catholic) or my sister (JW) or my other sister (atheist) or my brother (mysogynistic, racist dickhead) felt when we lost a loved one.

I like Greta's articles on Alternet. I read "Why are you atheists so angry?" a few months ago. That book was part of "elsewhere", BTW.

I look forward to reading the new book.
Where the difference comes in isn't so much in whether atheism is accepted by those around you (although I supposed that could be a factor for some). Atheists tend to believe their loved ones have ceased to exist whereas believers tend to believe the souls of their loved ones still live on. So atheists need to cope with the permanent loss of their loved ones. Believers hold hope of seeing their loved ones again in heaven and may assume they went to heaven, fear they went to hell, or wonder (perhaps with some anxiety) exactly where they went. Some may even believe they are watched and/or helped by their loved ones from the spirit realm. Thus, the coping process can be somewhat different for atheists vs. believers.

An additional factor is the funeral itself which was an issue for me personally. My father was Catholic and the rest of my family still is so the funeral was also Catholic. Listening to all the religious rituals was not only annoying, but provided nothing to contribute to my grieving or healing. After the service, there was much ongoing mention of religious matters - how the priest conducted the service, how beautiful the mass cards were, how my father was undoubtedly in heaven, blah, blah, blah. I just wanted to leave it all so I could get on with my own grieving. I think this would be the same for any atheist who has a religious family; not just where atheism itself is an issue.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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03-07-2014, 04:23 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2014 09:46 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
(02-07-2014 11:33 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  Grief beyond Belief is a Facebook group for non believers during a time of grief. Seth did an interview with the person who runs it once on the podcast.

Now they are writing a book and are looking for stories to publish.

follow the link for more information and to submit your story.

http://www.griefbeyondbelief.org/seeking...lief-book/

submitted my story Smile

I can say I understand loss. I lost two daughters at the toddler age. At the time I was a christian, and have never prayed so hard as I did during that time. This isn't the reason I am an atheist now, I am an atheist now because that event, that life experience gave me the need to understand WHY. So I asked my pastors, my parents, other church leaders, and found the answers most unsatisfactory. So rather than sponging up everything that fell out of their mouth as the truth, I started a journey of epistemology, the study of knowledge. I read the bible, and again, read other versions, other religion's holy books, then got into philosophy, biblical history, who wrote the bible and why? Who put it together? What are the FACTS and what is fiction, what is history and what is a parable......the more I learned, the less I believed. I had actually started this journey attempting to solidify my faith and get the facts I needed to override my inner doubts, and the opposite happened. The more I found out about the community writings under known authors (pseudepigrapha), the forgeries, the exaggerations, then it made me turn a critical eye to it all.

I would give anything to hold my daughters again, but I have learned too much, been exposed to historical facts, reason and logic...and my heart has given up on ever seeing them again. I realize the importance religion and faith has on people, I truly do. It is a comfort, an emotional and spiritual security blanket, a made-up answer to the big questions we don't know the answers to, and still don't. We may never know the answers, I surely don't have them, I just know that the anthropocentric abrahamic faiths don't have the answer either..... Because the whole thing is based on a book that is too easily discredited and disproven, whole books made up and written YEARS after the alleged author died, or by people who write it based on the oral retelling of a story passed down through years with zero collaborating evidence. It is frightening to think we are here by chance, what is the purpose of life? Are we just smart bugs running around for a life cycle; eat, breed, die and repeat? How awful is that? It is comforting to think of "god" looking down at us, worrying about 8 billion+ little lives scurrying around on this planet, created to worship him or die eternally in hell, or so the story goes.

My progression to atheism has surprisingly brought me a lot of peace. I no longer have the inner guilt of did this happen because I am a sinner, or because I am unworthy or whatever religious based, subjugating mind rape concept put out by the church....the thought that maybe I didn't pray hard enough, or maybe god was displeased with me and let them die etc. etc., all of that nonsense is washed away with the understanding that life isn't predestined, there is no grand plan, there is no god playing...well god....and worrying about paying back my "born-as-a-sinner-and owing-god-for-life" slavery contract with the Christian god. All that needless, worthless, bowing and scraping hoping we earn god's approval to live in a paradise forever...upon death. Sounds like a made up concept to comfort those dying doesn't it?...Because it is. I wish I could describe to you the peace that knowledge and freedom from religious dogma has given me. My life is full, happy and rewarding. I have been able to move on, one day at a time, and while I wish I could believe that someday I could see them again, I am okay with knowing that they suffer no more, and are in eternal rest...and I know that to believe in a supernatural afterlife is just my inner insecurity and fear making me want to accept the impossible, the improbable, the imaginary...as a comfort. I am better than that, I don't need to allow fear to dominate my life and force me to believe or pretend to believe in the supernatural. Humans fear death, this is natural, humans die, this is natural, all life on this planet will someday cease, this is natural, this planet is slowly dying, this is natural, and not I would think by design.....and I am okay with that.

In my opinion, religion thrives because of fear; it plays on our fears of the unknown and manipulates that fear into quite the thriving business. Emotional, spiritual and financial slavery, all with the, "Don't question it because it is in this book, believe or spend eternity in hell" salesmanship. Greatest pyramid scheme ever, money goes up; nothing of intrinsic value comes down...except fear based comfort. What is right for one person, doesn't work for another. What is needed for one person isn't needed by another. My daughters died in 1998 and I still think about them, but I am no longer devastated. I am at peace, knowledge gives you that, not faith….the belief in something without evidence.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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04-07-2014, 08:49 AM
RE: Seeking the Grief Stories of Non-Believers for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book
(03-07-2014 01:26 PM)Impulse Wrote:  ...Atheists tend to believe their loved ones have ceased to exist whereas believers tend to believe the souls of their loved ones still live on...

[SNIP]

...so the funeral was also Catholic. Listening to all the religious rituals was not only annoying, but provided nothing to contribute to my grieving or healing...

[MORE SNIP]

Excellent points and nicely put.

I actually found my atheism a help when dealing with death. I appreciated the finality. "He's gone" (or she). Shed a few tears, look at the photos, share the memories. And after a short while, get things back to normal. But that's it. You never forget, of course. My brother died 40 years ago of childhood leukaemia, aged 12. A couple of years ago, my (atheist) sister were talking about him and we both started to blub. You never forget.

I avoid the religious part by not going to mass. I'll go to the burial/cremation but not to the religious ceremony. My (Catholic) mother actually arranged a mass for my brother AGAINST his own explicitly stated wishes. I was not even informed of this until after the event. I think my mother thought I'd charge down the aisle shouting "STOP. He didn't want this." I may well have done, but I doubt it. I'm ready to believe a mother's loss is greater than a brother's.
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