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Old 08-01-2012, 07:11 AM
 
3,673 posts, read 4,932,067 times
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Hi,
I lost my grandmother.
She was 78 and battling lung cancer for 3 years (never smoke or drank btw).

As an atheist, i don't know if the experience was more difficult or less....for me, who understands that when you're dead, you're dead and gone for good....or those around me who believed otherwise, and therefore were seemingly comforted by those thoughts...
i think that in some ways, it was more difficult knowing that "she's not looking down at us...." or that "she's in this room with us...." as others were suggesting and seemingly actually believed it. (oh, and our family isn't even super religious!!! although they do believe in god/heaven/etc. etc.)

Anyway, it was a very tough few days.....hardest few days of my 30 some years........By far.....
i looked at the situation as logically, and as scientifically as possible.....knowing that she just simply completed the circle of life and that she being content with the way she lived and the things she did in life, as she told me, was the best one could hope for on their death-bed; yet, it was and it still is incredibly sad and upsetting to lose her and i will miss her terribly.

Anyway, i wanted to know if any of you have had a similar experience and whether you had any alternative angles of looking at it...

thank you.

Last edited by Thinking-man; 08-01-2012 at 08:00 AM..
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,956 posts, read 6,493,785 times
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When you're dead, you're dead. That is reality. I have no concept of any fairy tales.

I watched my mother die a horrible death about 3 years ago and it was quite painful to go through that.

Sorry for your loss.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Knightsbridge
684 posts, read 694,696 times
Reputation: 857
There are only two potential truths: Either existence is a cradle with an eternity of black non-existence to the left and right, punctuated by an impossibly brief flash of color before the rocking cradle plunges to an absurd end, the child never knowing enough to question why or there is an afterlife of some sort.

Is existence an absurdity, where life is that mere flash of awakening that lasts just long enough for us to question the non-meaning, or is there something more?

Many Transhumanists have a firm belief that a technological singularity is on the horizon - That, since our rate of human knowledge is doubling at a faster and faster rate, we are within the grasp of a technological breakthrough so profound it will change human kind forever. As you are an Atheist, I cannot give words of comfort that would give her life meaning. Instead, I can only say: We are all the protagonist in our own lives and the tragicomedy of a temporal existence in an eternal universe doesn't seem to make sense. If there is no afterlife, then it would be Man's duty to work towards one that every one may find real meaning.

H.P. Lovecraft once wrote something very profound: "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and in strange Aeons, even Death may die."
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,497,518 times
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Thinking Man,

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Losing a loved one is painful. We miss the security of their love. We recognize the ending of an era that we enjoyed. We are reminded of how temporary everything is. We miss them. It hurts, and it should hurt if we were at all emotionally invested in the relationship.

All of that is true no matter what one believes about what happens after death. We need to take the time to grieve and accept love from those around us. No, their love can't exactly replace the love we lost from our loved one, but it can take the edge off of the hurt.

Things do get better with time as we find ways to adapt and cope, and new people to love and be loved by.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:56 AM
 
3,673 posts, read 4,932,067 times
Reputation: 2422
Quote:
Originally Posted by TempusFugitive View Post
There are only two potential truths: Either existence is a cradle with an eternity of black non-existence to the left and right, punctuated by an impossibly brief flash of color before the rocking cradle plunges to an absurd end, the child never knowing enough to question why or there is an afterlife of some sort.

Is existence an absurdity, where life is that mere flash of awakening that lasts just long enough for us to question the non-meaning, or is there something more?

Many Transhumanists have a firm belief that a technological singularity is on the horizon - That, since our rate of human knowledge is doubling at a faster and faster rate, we are within the grasp of a technological breakthrough so profound it will change human kind forever. As you are an Atheist, I cannot give words of comfort that would give her life meaning. Instead, I can only say: We are all the protagonist in our own lives and the tragicomedy of a temporal existence in an eternal universe doesn't seem to make sense. If there is no afterlife, then it would be Man's duty to work towards one that every one may find real meaning.

H.P. Lovecraft once wrote something very profound: "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and in strange Aeons, even Death may die."
Thanks for the comment.
i like the way you described life....'life is that mere flash of awakening that lasts just long enough for us to question the non-meaning'. That captures how i view it.....except that unfortunately, some people, in fact the majority it seems, don't grasp the bitter truth, even by the end of their life.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:09 AM
 
3,673 posts, read 4,932,067 times
Reputation: 2422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Thinking Man,

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Losing a loved one is painful. We miss the security of their love. We recognize the ending of an era that we enjoyed. We are reminded of how temporary everything is. We miss them. It hurts, and it should hurt if we were at all emotionally invested in the relationship.

All of that is true no matter what one believes about what happens after death. We need to take the time to grieve and accept love from those around us. No, their love can't exactly replace the love we lost from our loved one, but it can take the edge off of the hurt.

Things do get better with time as we find ways to adapt and cope, and new people to love and be loved by.
So sweet and thoughtful!
thank you!
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:37 AM
 
12,120 posts, read 9,873,153 times
Reputation: 15767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
Thanks for the comment.
i like the way you described life....'life is that mere flash of awakening that lasts just long enough for us to question the non-meaning'. That captures how i view it.....except that unfortunately, some people, in fact the majority it seems, don't grasp the bitter truth, even by the end of their life.
Maybe the truth is bitter. But I find comfort in the knowledge and freedom to take this life by the horns and make the most of love out if that I can rather than waiting for some magic paradise in the sky to find love and peace. I am sorry foro your loss.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:38 AM
 
16,083 posts, read 17,880,433 times
Reputation: 15879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
Hi,
I lost my grandmother.
She was 78 and battling lung cancer for 3 years (never smoke or drank btw).

As an atheist, i don't know if the experience was more difficult or less....for me, who understands that when you're dead, you're dead and gone for good....or those around me who believed otherwise, and therefore were seemingly comforted by those thoughts...
i think that in some ways, it was more difficult knowing that "she's not looking down at us...." or that "she's in this room with us...." as others were suggesting and seemingly actually believed it. (oh, and our family isn't even super religious!!! although they do believe in god/heaven/etc. etc.)

Anyway, it was a very tough few days.....hardest few days of my 30 some years........By far.....
i looked at the situation as logically, and as scientifically as possible.....knowing that she just simply completed the circle of life and that she being content with the way she lived and the things she did in life, as she told me, was the best one could hope for on their death-bed; yet, it was and it still is incredibly sad and upsetting to lose her and i will miss her terribly.

Anyway, i wanted to know if any of you have had a similar experience and whether you had any alternative angles of looking at it...

thank you.
Of course, you will miss her. I guess, though, I think that keeping her alive in memory is helpful. Anything you can do that would celebrate her life should make you feel a bit better. You will be sad, but that's a normal part of living.

You can also take comfort in the fact that she was content with the way she lived and had a good life.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:47 AM
 
3,673 posts, read 4,932,067 times
Reputation: 2422
Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
Maybe the truth is bitter. But I find comfort in the knowledge and freedom to take this life by the horns and make the most of love out if that I can rather than waiting for some magic paradise in the sky to find love and peace. I am sorry foro your loss.
Yes, exactly. Agreed.
thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Of course, you will miss her. I guess, though, I think that keeping her alive in memory is helpful. Anything you can do that would celebrate her life should make you feel a bit better. You will be sad, but that's a normal part of living.

You can also take comfort in the fact that she was content with the way she lived and had a good life.
thank you. Yes, i understand what you mean, and couldn't agree more.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:50 AM
 
39,025 posts, read 10,819,276 times
Reputation: 5081
Well my father died and I just couldn't feel sad. Sad wouldn't change anything and I had a lot of good memories of a hoot of a guy who would always help you out.
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