Should I tell my grandparents?
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25-09-2013, 08:33 PM
Should I tell my grandparents?
I was raised in the Church of Christ. My mother and father both went to services when I was young. My father never really believed and mostly went to appease my mother and her parents. Both of my parents wanted me to come to my own conclusions in life and never really forced their views upon me or my brother. Because of this my grandparents had the most to do with my upbringing in the church.

They are both wonderful people who love unconditionally, and I know that they would continue to love and accept me no matter what I believe. However I know that it will absolutely crush them to know that the grandson they tried so hard to raise in the church is an atheist.

They are now reaching the end of their lives and I have found myself wanting to tell them what my true beliefs are. I don't pretend to be religious around them and I have no intention of trying to convert them from what they have believed their entire lives. I simply want them to fully understand who I am because I don't want to feel regret for it later on.

The only reason I have not is because I do not want them to feel the anguish I know they will. It just seems wrong to do that to them especially since they don't have many years left.

I simply want an opinion from anyone, especially anyone who has experienced this or something like it themselves.
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25-09-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
Quote:They are now reaching the end of their lives and I have found myself wanting to tell them what my true beliefs are.


For your benefit or theirs?
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25-09-2013, 08:40 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
I have a similar situation with my maternal grandmother. She is still convinced that I will "bring all her grandchildren to Christ" as she puts it. Because of her failing health, I cannot bring myself to tell her the truth of my beliefs on religion. I've gone back and forth on the issue a few times. I sometimes feel bad for lying, even if by omission. But, honestly, I think it better for her peace of mind that I do not tell her. She, in my opinion, will not benefit from that bit of knowledge but it will certainly cause her distress.

Hope that made at least a bit of sense. Doubt it would be helpful but I'm sure there are plenty here who can give advice and further insight on a situation like this.

All information in the above post is my own opinion and will not
necessarily be logically sound or conform to reality as we know it.

You have been warned. Tongue
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25-09-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 08:40 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:They are now reaching the end of their lives and I have found myself wanting to tell them what my true beliefs are.


For your benefit or theirs?

I feel that it could be beneficial for both parties. It will be off my chest and they won't be left just wondering anymore.
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25-09-2013, 08:51 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
I probably wouldn't tell them unless the conversation just happened to come up, but your mileage may vary. If you do decide to tell them, just be delicate about it. Most folks begin to cling even tighter to their faith when they are faced with their own mortality.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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25-09-2013, 08:54 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 08:40 PM)darv Wrote:  I have a similar situation with my maternal grandmother. She is still convinced that I will "bring all her grandchildren to Christ" as she puts it. Because of her failing health, I cannot bring myself to tell her the truth of my beliefs on religion. I've gone back and forth on the issue a few times. I sometimes feel bad for lying, even if by omission. But, honestly, I think it better for her peace of mind that I do not tell her. She, in my opinion, will not benefit from that bit of knowledge but it will certainly cause her distress.

Hope that made at least a bit of sense. Doubt it would be helpful but I'm sure there are plenty here who can give advice and further insight on a situation like this.

Thank you for sharing your story. I can definitely relate to that and every personal story adds to the conversation. Your insight helps more than you might think. Also thank you for the welcome. I'm glad I've found a place where we can share these kinds of things.
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25-09-2013, 08:54 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 08:33 PM)EventHorizon Wrote:  They are now reaching the end of their lives

Are they ill? Just old? I thought my last grandparent was going to die ten years ago. She hung on until last month.

My first impulse is, no, don't tell them. It won't do them any good. I can't see you looking back years from now, and regretting *not* hurting them.

One thing I've found about atheism is, it's not very important unless someone starts a conflict about it. You don't have to start a conflict. Just be who you are. You don't have to label yourself for them.

I AM he who is called... cat furniture.
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25-09-2013, 08:59 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 08:54 PM)I Am Wrote:  
(25-09-2013 08:33 PM)EventHorizon Wrote:  They are now reaching the end of their lives

Are they ill? Just old? I thought my last grandparent was going to die ten years ago. She hung on until last month.

My first impulse is, no, don't tell them. It won't do them any good. I can't see you looking back years from now, and regretting *not* hurting them.

One thing I've found about atheism is, it's not very important unless someone starts a conflict about it. You don't have to start a conflict. Just be who you are. You don't have to label yourself for them.

They have had their share of serious illnesses, but they have overcome the most lethal of them (both have had cancer) There is definitely the possibility they will hang on for some time still. I just don't want them to have the false hope that they can sway me to come back to the church etc. but I definitely don't want to hurt them further.
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25-09-2013, 09:25 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 08:33 PM)EventHorizon Wrote:  I was raised in the Church of Christ. My mother and father both went to services when I was young. My father never really believed and mostly went to appease my mother and her parents. Both of my parents wanted me to come to my own conclusions in life and never really forced their views upon me or my brother. Because of this my grandparents had the most to do with my upbringing in the church.

They are both wonderful people who love unconditionally, and I know that they would continue to love and accept me no matter what I believe. However I know that it will absolutely crush them to know that the grandson they tried so hard to raise in the church is an atheist.

They are now reaching the end of their lives and I have found myself wanting to tell them what my true beliefs are. I don't pretend to be religious around them and I have no intention of trying to convert them from what they have believed their entire lives. I simply want them to fully understand who I am because I don't want to feel regret for it later on.

The only reason I have not is because I do not want them to feel the anguish I know they will. It just seems wrong to do that to them especially since they don't have many years left.

I simply want an opinion from anyone, especially anyone who has experienced this or something like it themselves.
Hey Event, I have a similar situation with my folks and brother. Although they know I don't attend church, we have reached an uneasy agreement to not discuss my beliefs openly. My brother and I agree to disagree, more or less and I don't really care what he thinks (he and his wife and passel o' kids are fundies).
My parents are another matter. I love them both very much and admire them as honorable people. They are reaching the end of their lives and I see no reason to hurt them by telling them how I feel about religion. It would serve no purpose. When I see them I bow my head at meals for their prayers out of respect for them. I don't see this as a cop out. What would be the point of taking exception to a practice that has been in my family all my life.
I guess you have to ask yourself what good would it do to bring up the issue at all with your grandparents, particularly if they don't specifically ask you about it. Even if they ask you pointedly, I would be as evasive as honestly possible. Again, what purpose would it serve? It would hurt them--and for what? I try to live and let live, and try not to intentionally harm others, especially people I love and respect.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents' worth. Hope it helps. Take care.
Chopdoc
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25-09-2013, 09:31 PM
RE: Should I tell my grandparents?
(25-09-2013 09:25 PM)Chopdoc Wrote:  
(25-09-2013 08:33 PM)EventHorizon Wrote:  I was raised in the Church of Christ. My mother and father both went to services when I was young. My father never really believed and mostly went to appease my mother and her parents. Both of my parents wanted me to come to my own conclusions in life and never really forced their views upon me or my brother. Because of this my grandparents had the most to do with my upbringing in the church.

They are both wonderful people who love unconditionally, and I know that they would continue to love and accept me no matter what I believe. However I know that it will absolutely crush them to know that the grandson they tried so hard to raise in the church is an atheist.

They are now reaching the end of their lives and I have found myself wanting to tell them what my true beliefs are. I don't pretend to be religious around them and I have no intention of trying to convert them from what they have believed their entire lives. I simply want them to fully understand who I am because I don't want to feel regret for it later on.

The only reason I have not is because I do not want them to feel the anguish I know they will. It just seems wrong to do that to them especially since they don't have many years left.

I simply want an opinion from anyone, especially anyone who has experienced this or something like it themselves.
Hey Event, I have a similar situation with my folks and brother. Although they know I don't attend church, we have reached an uneasy agreement to not discuss my beliefs openly. My brother and I agree to disagree, more or less and I don't really care what he thinks (he and his wife and passel o' kids are fundies).
My parents are another matter. I love them both very much and admire them as honorable people. They are reaching the end of their lives and I see no reason to hurt them by telling them how I feel about religion. It would serve no purpose. When I see them I bow my head at meals for their prayers out of respect for them. I don't see this as a cop out. What would be the point of taking exception to a practice that has been in my family all my life.
I guess you have to ask yourself what good would it do to bring up the issue at all with your grandparents, particularly if they don't specifically ask you about it. Even if they ask you pointedly, I would be as evasive as honestly possible. Again, what purpose would it serve? It would hurt them--and for what? I try to live and let live, and try not to intentionally harm others, especially people I love and respect.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents' worth. Hope it helps. Take care.
Chopdoc

Thank you for sharing your experience. This is almost exactly my situation and you have handled it in almost the same way I have so far all the way down to bowing my head when having meals with the family. This really helps thank you.
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