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Old 08-08-2013, 10:10 AM
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,084,119 times
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Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
When someone does die do your best to incorporate the best of them into your own life so that the best of them lives on in you, and through you in others.

Help those that also loved that person to cherish the memories and to work through their grief. Grief shared is easier to work through than grief in isolation.

Always remember that grief is not something to be avoided or ignored but a wound to be worked through and helped to heal.
Excellent advice. This is the only thing resembling immortality that actually exists -- incorporating the best of those you love and have lost into your life.

I might add that it is best to let go of the ignoble qualities you may be aware of in people, too. I know someone whose spouse had problems abusing drugs, occasionally abusive, not infrequently combative. But this person also had many good qualities -- incredible intelligence, wonderful father, great sense of humor, strong personal presence, tremendous athleticism, and so forth. My friend clings to these good qualities; her children will never know about the bad stuff. There is no point in holding onto the negatives and the person deserves to be honored for what they accomplished in life and not punished posthumously for their human failings.

Not avoiding grief, but embracing it, is also important. Experience it fully, let it have its way with you -- this is the only way to healing.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:01 PM
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,249 posts, read 19,545,740 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Not avoiding grief, but embracing it, is also important. Experience it fully, let it have its way with you -- this is the only way to healing.
Thanks, I think it's going to be very important for me to do that.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:16 PM
Location: FL
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These posts are excellent. Both of my parents died, my father when I was 25 and my mother many years later. I've experienced many other losses as well and find that preparation, ritual and support of people who care about me are all helpful.

To prepare I would as suggested be sure nothing was left unsaid, and if possible undone. If there is a place or event you've always wanted to go to or attend do it. If you have a favorite activity, for example my mom and I would go out to lunch with her sister - do it and when you do make a mental note, or take photos and if you journal write about it.

If your parents are open to it ask about arrangements. My aunt had specific ideas about her funeral and we were able to honor them. My mother wanted things kept simple, we honored her wishes as well. Later it gave us a feeling of having performed a last act of love for them.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:44 PM
Location: Tomball
16 posts, read 14,478 times
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I had a grandma that I had been calling almost every Sunday for years who passed away earlier this year. My grandma had been suffering from heartache for years since my grandfather passed away, so I found peace in knowing that she was not suffering any longer. I loved her enough to understand she was ready to move on.

It was odd to me that I was the only one who seemed to respect her passing, the rest of my family constantly griped about how she didn't care enough about them to be here for them. The toughest part for me was going to the wake and finding it was basically a church service; then having to deal with my family trying to determine how I should grieve for her passing. I do wonder how other Agnostics and Atheist deal with the cultural aspects associated with funerals, specifically when you don't adhere to those rituals.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
There have probably been other threads on this topic. But I wanted to hear some discussions about it from people who have been through this already and are atheist/agnostic.

As for me, I have not yet experienced this in my own life. But my parents are in their 80s and it's only a matter of time that the inevitable will happen. I want mentally prepare myself for that now and was wondering if people here have any words of advice and what to expect - which have nothing to do with God, of course.
I've lost some loved ones...I just consider it a part of life. Sure I grieve, as much as the next It makes me want to get even more joy out of the life I've got, though it's always harder when the young ones go first. Corny as it sounds, I think of the "circle of life", just like the wildlife out there...lots of little ones never make it...but then new ones are born. It's the same in our lives, we're making room for the new., no matter at what age we die.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:06 PM
Location: SoCal
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For now, I would say: cry, honour them, strongly remember them as much as you can, hope that some version of them continues to live in a parallel universe (or in more than one parallel universe), and then move on.

Also, you can consider discussing cryogenic preservation with these people while they are still alive and try convincing them to get it done to themselves when they die.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:31 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
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The religion in which I was raised choses the day in which a person dies to mourn them an say a prayer. I get that but I don't do that. I don't even remember those days. I have a difficult time remembering birthdays so death-days aren't easy for me either.

What I do is remember them almost everyday of my life. As an example, my dear friend of many years died of Cancer in 2009. I don't remember the day she died but to this day she is never far from my thoughts. When I see something I know she would laugh I she instantly comes to mind. "Linda would get a kick out of that."

It's the same with my parents long deceased. I even think of my past cats who have gone to "The Rainbow Bridge" long ago. In other words, I do not need any kind of religious ritual once a year on the anniversary of someone's death to mourn them as in "Oh, yeah, so-and-so died on this day." That person is always in my heart and mind and I always mourn for them a bit simply by missing them as time goes by.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:21 PM
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,372,762 times
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Default Time I can still spend with dad... but with no judgmental GOD!

Both my mother and my beloved dad passed away within the last 5 years. Mom 45 years ago (@ 92) and my dad two years ago, at 97.8!. My mother was essentially of British heritage and of the high Anglican [English] Church's persuasions. And so we had a religious ceremony, though I'm sure she didn't actually attend church for well over 20 years before her passing.

However, she was indeed quite terrified of a non-salvation death, so in the end she wanted to go down to the nursing home's chapel several times a week. To, you understand, renew her promises of not sinning and praying for Jesus' forgiveness. hope he gave it to her! Still, it's a bit hard to imagining committing sins in the nursing home though, huh?

Meantime, my father's side of the family really wanted a religious ceremony, but I knew him best, and he was my very good pal, so I did not succumb to outside wishes in hopes such characterizations might rescue dad from a life of hell-filled & demonic possession! (Hee heeeee!).

And as well, I did not even where a suit or tux or whatever, choosing instead to wear my nice Cabela's suede blazer and ironed jeans. This he would have understood & enjoyed. As well, in my soliloquy, I did not honor the man's legacy or spirituality in any silly fairy-tale Christian way, since I didn't want the small container of his ashes to start shaking or perhaps topple off the table!

Instead, I focused on his wonderful giving, generous and outdoors-loving life, and what he'd taught me he having been a logger for many years in the really tough northern Canadian and West Coast Vancouver & Queen Charlottes Islands wooded jungles! As well, he'd been a caring father to my brother and a good husbnd to his wife of 52 years!

Now when I go out to those woods, and perhaps go hunting or just walking with my son (who inherited the Winchester 88 lever rifle I'd bought dad some 35 years ago) I see my dad in that, and I hope to impact some of his ageless legacy and good moral being to my son. No Christian elements necessary, and in fact, they would surely contaminate those special times.

In fact, I rather enjoy giving the special thumbs down, and an intellectual bypass, to the rampant Christianity that has ruined so many lives...
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:53 PM
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Well I since I've been an atheist for 2 years I've only lost one family member, my granddad. I didn't know him well because he's on my dad's side of the family so I didn't really feel anything because I didn't know him well. But my grandmother on my mom's side is elderly with painful and excruciating arthritis with her 47 year old son living with her giving her a living hell so I wouldn't be surprised if dropped dead tomorrow. I think I'd be sad like everyone else would be but would eventually suck it up and move one with my life. I honestly don't think I'd even secretly wish that there was a god and an afterlife so I can see her again because I know religion is man made and that there's no reason to believe there is a god or afterlife. Babies are born with flesh eating diseases so why would a god (if one actually exists) care about an afterlife for us if he doesn't even care about the health of babies? I'd say just take it one day at a time. You may never get over it but you can get through it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:00 PM
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Having lost both parents, a most beloved grand parent numerous cousins and friends all I can say is that if one accepts atheisms as a rational understanding of life then one then must accept that death is part of mature of our existence. As my wise uncle and physician once remarked, "death is the price we pay for life." Luckily for us we don't have to spend days or years asking some god ask "why" we know.
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