Jump to content
Goodbye Jesus

Death: How Do You Handle It?


Guest Net Eng

Recommended Posts

Guest Net Eng

Some of life's less pleasant events can be emotionally draining in the best of times. Since this is recent experience for me I'd like to hear how the folk's at ExC deal with this.

 

My father died in September of 2007. It was suddenly and not expected. We were devestated of course. Not helping the matter was my recent deconverstion of August last year.

Yesterday my family was finally able to place the marker at his grave (Michigan winters do not lend themselve to pouring concrete).

 

All of this got me thinking...

 

Prior to my deconvertsion I would have had a church family to lean on. Faith would provide solace. Knowing I would see him again in heaven would also help. But now?

 

Fortunately my family is not overly religious. My wife and children (who are adults) are also deconverted so the "fundie" bull wasn't an issue.

 

Finding this site (thanks to my wife) has been a big help. Facing his death and accepting it as how life works does as well. Does it still hurt? Yes. But I can look at his life now, remember him (the good and the bad) and keep going with mine.

 

How do you deal with death, illness etc...

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Keeping this site online isn't free, so we need your support! Make a one-time donation or choose one of the recurrent patron options by clicking here.



Some of life's less pleasant events can be emotionally draining in the best of times. Since this is recent experience for me I'd like to hear how the folk's at ExC deal with this.

 

My father died in September of 2007. It was suddenly and not expected. We were devestated of course. Not helping the matter was my recent deconverstion of August last year.

Yesterday my family was finally able to place the marker at his grave (Michigan winters do not lend themselve to pouring concrete).

 

All of this got me thinking...

 

Prior to my deconvertsion I would have had a church family to lean on. Faith would provide solace. Knowing I would see him again in heaven would also help. But now?

 

Fortunately my family is not overly religious. My wife and children (who are adults) are also deconverted so the "fundie" bull wasn't an issue.

 

Finding this site (thanks to my wife) has been a big help. Facing his death and accepting it as how life works does as well. Does it still hurt? Yes. But I can look at his life now, remember him (the good and the bad) and keep going with mine.

 

How do you deal with death, illness etc...

 

Death is probably one of the most difficult things for the human mind to accept, no matter if you are a christian, atheist, buddhist or pagan it hurts.

 

even though i am a pagan and think that reincarnation is a possibility after death i am still not 100% sure of what happens and i don't believe in claiming to know such a thing.

 

I like to remember my deceased loved ones.

 

for instance,I have a childhood friend who passed away a couple of years ago.

 

every year on the anniversary of her death i wear her favorite color to honor her.

 

i think doing this helps me to feel better in some way. i don't know how...but it does.

 

i'm very sorry about your father, i can't imagine how much that must hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also a speculator at heart, not just atheist. I think of things like infinity, how just being here one time in infinity, is logical evidence that you will exist again.

 

And if not, you wouldn't be suffering, not bored either, if you don't exist, then you don't mind not existing, you have no problem with it. ;)

 

I think of things like how a single photon can exist at two places at the same time, and the science exists for time travel, but the ability to generate that kind of energy is not possible, nowhere near close. But still, everyone that has passed on in a way still exist in the past.

 

Who knows what strange thing or paradox awaits us, but we likely won't know, at death we die, so the consciousness stops. If it starts again, and your window into reality opens again, you won't remember this life because memory is a function of cells. No brain = no memory.

 

Do I know any of this is fact? No. Does it matter? nope. What's gonna happen will happen surely. It is fun, and entertaining imo, to dance with ideas, build on them, refine them over time. Don't matter if you are right or wrong, just thinking about it sometimes helps you grow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Net Eng, sorry about your father. My mother passed away in March 2007. I deconverted in Sept. 2006, six months earlier. For me, being able to stand at her graveside and feeling an overwhelming peace that this was the end, was very assuring for me that deconversion was right for me.

 

I should explain that in my former church we did not believe in once-saved-always-saved. We believed that it all depended on whether we were right with God at the moment of death. If there were any unrepented sins at the moment of death, that could send a person to hell. However, funeral sermons made it clear that God could make all kinds of qualifications depending on the person's mental condition at the end. Then there was also grace. The bottom line for me was that one never knew for sure how the scale of God's justice would come out. Thus, in my mind, after death there is the huge obstacle of the Great Judgment to pass.

 

Knowing that death is The End, with no Great Judgment to pass, was--and remains--such an enormous relief for me. Sure it hurt to hear the clods of dirt hit the coffin. The memory of that still hurts. But the knowledge that she is safely in the ground for time and eternity is very reassuring on many levels.

 

Unfortunately, her funeral was the last pleasant memory I have of my family. Their rigid religious rules made it almost impossible for me to be there. In the days and weeks that followed it became evident to me that they (my siblings and their church) expected me to reconvert, at least to belief in god if not their church, in return for the favour they did me at the funeral. Fortunately, I did not suspect this when I was at the funeral. I don't expect to be at any future family funerals, due to their rigid beliefs. However, this is how I dealt with my mother's funeral a year ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, this is how I dealt with my mother's funeral a year ago.

 

Sounds very painfull, lost my dad a few years back, was holding his hand as he passed away. It's never easy, no matter what you believe or don't believe. It all boils down to a big reality check, with a large helping of loss.

((hug))

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several years ago a close friend that I knew from church got murdered. I never lived in a dangerous part of Los Angeles, but a lot of my friends and acquiantances did, or would venture into such places for the sake of their family and friends. If I were to recall all the people I've known, however loosely, who have been murdered, I'd probably need more than five fingers on one hand. As for people who have been shot or stabbed in general but lived... a few dozen, maybe.

 

Anyways, he got shot dead at a house party by a member of a gang that he himself used to belong to five years prior. The kid that shot him was 19 and couldn't have recognized who my friend was (mid 20s at the time). He was DOA in the ambulance.

 

At the time, I was hardly sweating it at all. Even when I got the news: I was stunned, but not sad. I genuinely, honestly believed that he had passed on into heaven and everything was gravy. When I stood at his coffin I put my hand on his and said "I'll see you there, brother. I'll see you there." I actually remember that precise moment with some kind of joy. "Joy" in the Pauline sense, not the happy yippee sense that we automatically think.

 

Well, one of the first things that happened when I deconverted was that I came to realize that my special moment with my dead friend didn't mean shit. He's in the ground, and I will be too someday, and I'm never going to see him again. Neither will his poor sister, who was also a close, dear friend. And that really fucking sucks. It made me really sad.

 

Needless to say, death isn't such a non-issue anymore. I am extremely cautious when crossing the street because Las Vegas (where I live now) is the #1 place in the U.S. for pedestrians to get killed. I myself have been hit twice while walking somewhere. Not joking.

 

I really and truly hope the possibility of my death will not present itself until I'm so old and decrepit that I just go "eh, why the fuck not?" :shrug: The importance of living a full, dynamic, storied life is of far greater imperative than it ever was before. Before, it didn't matter too much if I died young, or if my life on earth mostly sucked; in the end, I'd get eternal bliss, and my earthly life will have been a passing vapor. Like a dry fart in the desert, basically.

 

Now, I notice I've become more hedonistic. Not to mention lazy, because whenever I'm doing something that's not so fun, that's precious seconds being sapped away from me. I used to disdain the thought of indulging in luxury goods and services, but now not so much. I go out to fancy restaurants here in Vegas as much as I can and will not settle for cheap beer, liquor, or wine. I mean, there's a difference between affordable and cheap. Also, if I marry my girlfriend I will relocate to Middle Europe, where life is more beautiful and society is more sane.

 

There's more pressure to live the most relaxed, stress-free, aesthetic, pleasurable life possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey thanks, SWIM. Yes, lots of very painful memories there. But this thread is about Net Eng's father. Possibly I gave too much detail about my own family. Sorry about that. My aim was to provide context and an accurate account to help Net Eng process his own grief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of life's less pleasant events can be emotionally draining in the best of times. Since this is recent experience for me I'd like to hear how the folk's at ExC deal with this.

How do you deal with death, illness etc...

 

i dont deal with it very well, since losing my faith. my mother had died a year before, and i had comfort in the idea that i'd see her again in heaven. after deconverting, i lost that comfort, and dont even like to look at her photo now. re my own death, i hope that in old age i'll be dull in the brain or sedated or both, so that i won't be overwhelmed by the fear of death and hell. sorry i can't be more postitive than that right now. hopefully i'll come to terms with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Net Eng
Hey thanks, SWIM. Yes, lots of very painful memories there. But this thread is about Net Eng's father. Possibly I gave too much detail about my own family. Sorry about that. My aim was to provide context and an accurate account to help Net Eng process his own grief.

 

I agree with SWIM here Ruby... ((hug)).

 

While this thread is framed around a death that happened to someone close to me I find it helpful to hear from others who have had similar experiences. Perhaps through shared experience we can find some measure of peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Net Eng. I don't think I can truly relate to people who had a normal relationship with a parent. The relationship I had with my mother was extremely complicated on practically every level. It was a serious love-hate situation, a case of a child who could never measure up and a parent who was always using guilt trips and emotional manipulation. Thus, I was glad death was the end for a number of reasons, one of them being that she wouldn't face the Great Judgment because I did care how she felt and she was never a happy person; I just wanted her to be at peace so I could stop worrying about her. The other big reason her death was a relief was that my life became much less complicated. I can cut off the others but she had power over my feelings I could not shake off. Behind and underneath all of that is the pain and grief that I imagine we all feel at losing a person who has been part of our universe since birth.

 

Due to the religious complications around the funeral I could not begin to grieve her loss until now. Because their religion doesn't allow pictures of people I have no photographs of her but I have lots of visual memories, and I expect to have these as long as I live. I do have pictures of the home farm and these symbolize mom-and-dad. It was when I came across these right around the aniversary of her funeral that it hit me that she is no longer there and that the symbol no longer holds. That is when the reality of her loss set in.

 

Pippa, I'm thinking/hoping it's just one of those things that will take time to get used to. Perhaps there will always be a sadness for what can never be, but life goes on and we find other joys to give life meaning. We can never share these with our deseased parent but we can share it with other loved ones. I don't know--I'm just working on this as I write. Maybe this is one of those things that makes for depth of character, a character that is capable of containing a deep sadness while also at the same genuinely enjoying happiness in the here and now because of new things that are happening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey thanks, SWIM. Yes, lots of very painful memories there. But this thread is about Net Eng's father. Possibly I gave too much detail about my own family. Sorry about that. My aim was to provide context and an accurate account to help Net Eng process his own grief.

 

I agree with SWIM here Ruby... ((hug)).

 

While this thread is framed around a death that happened to someone close to me I find it helpful to hear from others who have had similar experiences. Perhaps through shared experience we can find some measure of peace.

 

Glad you saw it that way net, was a lil reluctant to say about my dad.

 

But as you say, it does help to learn how others deal. And here's a ((hug)) for you, we all need one, mostly in real-life though. Death is *never* easy to deal with, no matter your life/death outlooks or lack thereof.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Dad passed away when I was 17. I became a xian a few years later and it actually made things harder for me, b/c now, not only was my father gone, but my worldview dictated that (as a strictly atheist man) he was burning/going to burn in hell for all eternity.

 

Later I lost my grandparents and dear family friend, but after deconverting I coped better with these experiences than I did when a xian - I found that once the immediate grief was gone, I was at peace about where they were. Their pain was over, gone. Their minds no longer turned, and neither did mine. I still cry sometimes, missing my papa, but I don't cry and beg that he not be in hell. After all the pain he had on earth, he deserved a black, welcoming sleep.

 

I didn't find much solace in my xian friends after deaths in my family; all they seemed to know was platitude and scripture, and that did not comfort me. I journal a lot, that helps me.

 

I'm really sorry for your loss, NetEng. I'll be thinking of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.