This was a greater loss to me than losing God. The thought of never seeing my Dad again was one of the most painful losses I’ve experienced. Losing him at 3, was the greatest loss of my life & now I am realizing he’s never going to see me face to face, and answer all my questions. Now, I really have to grieve and move on because those 3 years were all I got.
Things have gotten a little easier as the years have gone on. I take the grieving process more seriously, I allow myself to feel the pain of loss. Since this realization I have lost my in-laws and my grandfather. I take great comfort in the grey areas. I am comfortable with us being dust & returning to dust. My grandfather taught me so much about being disciplined and humble, his character and love for his family are untouchable. I figure it’s better to live with him every day in my heart & pass these things on to my kids than to wait to see him in heaven. His life makes me take my stewardship responsibilities of the earth and my kids seriously. My in-laws had a lust for life & a commitment to making their community a better place to live. They loved people and people loved them. They ate, and drank & they were merry!! I miss them because being around them was happiness and joy. Everyday I want to be more like them. I take comfort in knowing these people are still in my cells & the air I breathe.
I am TERRIFIED of this aspect of being an EXChristian. But this ..."legacy" way you describe of dealing with it.....its compelling. I have certainly become more ...I don;t know....sentimental? maybe ? since I left the faith.
My grandmother's lessons are more vivid to me, especially since I have had to grieve her all over again since I held her hand twenty years ago, **CERTAIN*** she was in a better place and that we would see each other again! It SUCKS.
Honestly, this is the one facet of this deconversion that I have not yet wanted to face. I have roundly avoided it.
But to add a different twist>>>> I am still closeted to my middle school child. We don't go to church REGULARLY anymore, but I don't think he/she really knows WHY.....
the reason I say this is because MY BIGGEST FEAR>>>>>
IS MY OWN
DEATH AND HOW THAT WOULD IMPACT SUCH A YOUNG CHILD, ***IF HE/SHE KNEW I DIDNT BELIEVE I WAS GOING TO HEAVEN, OR THAT I WOULD BE IN HELL*** ANd to some extent , wrapping my arms around my own mortality, which I did several years ago for the FIRST time, but as a CHristian.
This is the toughest part of this lack of faith. And I hazard, dealing with death is the REAL REASON people wrap themselves in that warm delusion to begin with.