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Old 02-15-2024, 04:39 PM
Status: "Just livin' day by day" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: USA
3,166 posts, read 3,356,252 times
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As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday. I don’t place blame on anyone how the person passed. And yes, I’ve had a loved one who passed tragically at a young age. I’ve could’ve blamed her ex-boyfriend, family members, old friends, Doctors…. The list goes on… She was mentally ill. It is what it is. We all leave this Earth at one point or another. To place blame on someone would only leave me being bitter and resentful. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past on the “should’ve done this or that” or holding a grudge against someone.

I’ve noticed believers tend to move on more quickly when it comes with grief moving forward with life. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
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Old 02-15-2024, 05:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 3,881 times
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You will find in the recent "mordant's wife" thread in the Atheism & Agnosticism forum a couple of lengthy posts by me (#10 and #24), as a Christian, with my observations of the different perspectives atheists and believers bring to tragedies such as the death of a loved one. You may find them interesting (or rude, arrogant, inappropriate and all the other things they were deemed to be by the denizens of the A&A swamp).

That being said, I think it is impossible to generalize how believers and nonbelievers grieve tragedies. As I indicated in my A&A posts, believers perhaps have reasons to be more accepting and optimistic than do nonbelievers. But when it comes to things like "moving on quickly" or "dwelling on the past" and so forth - no, I believe this depends more on the circumstances of the tragedy itself and the psychological profile and life circumstances of the person doing the grieving.
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Old 02-15-2024, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,956 posts, read 13,450,937 times
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All grieving is indeed highly individualized. There are some general rules ... for example, the intensity of the grieving is more or less proportional to how much a part of your daily life the person was. That is why we grieve more deeply for, say, a spouse vs a cousin in a distant city that we haven't seen twenty years. But even there, one can encounter exceptions. Maybe the cousin was a dear best friend in childhood and there are many happy memories plus regrets that you didn't keep in touch. Maybe the spouse was an unkind person of poor character that you were mostly just putting up with -- etc.

Then there's the simple fact of where death comes in the preferred story arc. Is the person 8, or 80? Makes a big difference.

It makes a difference HOW a person dies. Murder? Suicide? Freak accident or illness? Related to substance abuse? Cancer? Left-handed jungle rot? -- and all the preconceptions one might have around any of those factors.

Since there are so many variables, I think generalizations are well nigh impossible.

I think religious faith / beliefs help some people more than others.

I'm no longer a believer, and would never even be tempted to seek relief in drink or whatever. It would in fact only make matters worse.

I found that my religious beliefs (via Christian fundamentalism) tended to complicate grief a great deal, and I have a fair bit of experience in the matter both as a believer and as an unbeliever. Complications in the form of needless guilt, "what if" questions, the need to reconcile suffering and tragedy with the goodness and compassion of God, etc. I also never found the afterlife stuff particularly apropos of losing a family member out of turn as it doesn't solve the immediate problem or change the need to reorient oneself to a "new normal". In the case of a spouse it's not really comforting that you'll see them in the sweet by-and-by if you move on and remarry ... that just makes it awkward.

But that is just me. There are plenty of folks who can't imagine life without looking forward to heaven and are content to defer all closure or justice until after death. And they, like all of us, should do what they have to do to get through their days.

I know that many theists can't wrap their heads around the notion that someone could be anything but a lost wraith without the comforts of god's favor and provision plus the promise of heaven. I don't imagine I would be believed if I said that I'm way stronger, centered, and at peace now that I ever was as a believer. Others would chalk it up to the shortcomings of the fundamentalism from which I come (assuming they are not, themselves, fundamentalists, of course). Whatever. I don't have a particular need to convince anyone that I grieve (or bleed, or breathe) just like the next person, all things being equal. Maybe even with less suffering than some. So ... no, when I experienced sorrow as an unbeliever I did not have a sudden need to drink myself silly or go on extended binge of carousing or whatever caricature someone might have in their head.

And facing now, as I do, the possibility of losing another loved one to illness, yes I have to process it but I don't lack for tools to do so, either. Nor does my (unbelieving) wife. I see tremendous advantage in not thinking that life is personal and directed, that there's some "reason" (secret sin?? insufficient piety?? some ill-defined need for a trial or test?? god's ineffable will??) beyond biological ones for why people get cancer or [fill in the blank here with tragedy of choice]. That we are in any way entitled to good health and long life (and let's be honest, that's really what all the folderol is about). If my wife's ultimate diagnosis is what seems most likely, there was about a 1.2% lifetime chance of her getting it ... but, ya know, SOMEONE has to be in that 1.2%. Luck of the draw. MUCH easier than contorting myself to explain why it is just, right, or coherent that MY wife, in particular, won that particular lottery. Your mileage may vary.

My oldest brother died about 20 years ago from a freak cancer. Unlike me, he was a very devout believer from the time of his conversion in his youth to the day his leg snapped in two. Also unlike me, he had to reconcile his death sentence with god's love for him. It did not go well. He had just retired and was looking forward to the same twilight years we all hope for ourselves. He had was an elder at his church, never missed a service, prayed and studied his Bible every day, was a faithful husband, and now this?? He become convinced that he had failed God somehow. That the sins of his pre-repentance youth were finally being visited on him. His heart broke over it. He could not be consoled. He had, clearly, in his thinking, blown it. Otherwise why was God killing him?

What would believers have me as an unbeliever do? Go down THAT path? Repent, and beg god for my wife's life? Self-flagellate if she dies anyway? I mean I really don't understand what the point would be. I don't think god was judging my brother and I don't think he'd have been blessing him if the cancer hadn't happened.

I think that life just "happens". That is all. That's the reality, like it or not. Religious faith doesn't make sense of such things, it only muddies the waters. Cause and effect provides explanations, to an extent, but if you want to try to force fit your bad experiences into some alleged Master Plan ... for me anyway, that way lies madness.
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Old 02-15-2024, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
17,773 posts, read 13,665,953 times
Reputation: 17805
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday. I don’t place blame on anyone how the person passed. And yes, I’ve had a loved one who passed tragically at a young age. I’ve could’ve blamed her ex-boyfriend, family members, old friends, Doctors…. The list goes on… She was mentally ill. It is what it is. We all leave this Earth at one point or another. To place blame on someone would only leave me being bitter and resentful. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past on the “should’ve done this or that” or holding a grudge against someone.

I’ve noticed believers tend to move on more quickly when it comes with grief moving forward with life. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
As a non believer, I never really paid attention to this other than to smile when somebody comes along and talks about seeing their loved one in heaven again.

However, now that you have added that you don't "judge" anyone on how they grieve other than to say that non believers are only capable of grieving in self destructive ways...

I'm actually laughing.

In a kind of Robert Heinlein "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh" sort of way.
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Old 02-15-2024, 09:19 PM
 
Location: minnesota
15,840 posts, read 6,308,360 times
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Even as an atheist I engaged in plenty of what could be called "magical thinking". It did seem to help me.
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Old 02-16-2024, 01:17 AM
 
79 posts, read 21,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday. I don’t place blame on anyone how the person passed. And yes, I’ve had a loved one who passed tragically at a young age. I’ve could’ve blamed her ex-boyfriend, family members, old friends, Doctors…. The list goes on… She was mentally ill. It is what it is. We all leave this Earth at one point or another. To place blame on someone would only leave me being bitter and resentful. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past on the “should’ve done this or that” or holding a grudge against someone.

I’ve noticed believers tend to move on more quickly when it comes with grief moving forward with life. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
You're actually correct about you being wrong. Everyone grieve differently, so generalizing isn't possible. I know believers and nonbelievers that have moved quickly in life after their loved ones past away. I also know some that have turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with their grief. But of all the people that I know, there was only one person, a believer, who took his own life a few months after his girlfriend died. Even with that, I don't judge and generalize that unbelievers move on more quickly than believers. Even though you claimed that you don't judge how people grieve the death of their loved ones, but in actuality, you've demonstrated that you do judge people how others grieve.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
10,520 posts, read 6,157,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday. I don’t place blame on anyone how the person passed. And yes, I’ve had a loved one who passed tragically at a young age. I’ve could’ve blamed her ex-boyfriend, family members, old friends, Doctors…. The list goes on… She was mentally ill. It is what it is. We all leave this Earth at one point or another. To place blame on someone would only leave me being bitter and resentful. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past on the “should’ve done this or that” or holding a grudge against someone.

I’ve noticed believers tend to move on more quickly when it comes with grief moving forward with life. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
So 'moving on quickly' is preferable in your view to grieving someone's loss, because it's okay, you'll just meet up in heaven.
I wonder how much thought you have actually given to how you are actually going to meet this person in heaven.
You 'grieve' in your own way and let others grieve in theirs.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
971 posts, read 531,892 times
Reputation: 2255
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday. I don’t place blame on anyone how the person passed. And yes, I’ve had a loved one who passed tragically at a young age. I’ve could’ve blamed her ex-boyfriend, family members, old friends, Doctors…. The list goes on… She was mentally ill. It is what it is. We all leave this Earth at one point or another. To place blame on someone would only leave me being bitter and resentful. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past on the “should’ve done this or that” or holding a grudge against someone.

I’ve noticed believers tend to move on more quickly when it comes with grief moving forward with life. Maybe I’m wrong.

I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
My experience is opposite from yours. The "believers" in my family and friends groups have a much harder time getting over the loss of a loved one, and those of us who are not "believers" are greif stricken but we can get up and move on with life, grateful for what we have now. I think each of us processes death and loss of loved ones differently, and it has nothing to do with belief in anything. Some of it has to do with how close you were with the deceased, for example a beloved daughter being lost is going to affect you more than your grandmother or even your elderly mother. It is relative and each of us is different.

It is sillty to try to make up reasons that "believers" are better off than "non-belivers". It is a lie you tell yourself to justify the cognitive dissonance that is caused by your beliefs and the actual reality you live in. If you have to justify it, then you have doubts and you need to look at those.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
971 posts, read 531,892 times
Reputation: 2255
Quote:
Originally Posted by O'Darbo View Post
You will find in the recent "mordant's wife" thread in the Atheism & Agnosticism forum a couple of lengthy posts by me (#10 and #24), as a Christian, with my observations of the different perspectives atheists and believers bring to tragedies such as the death of a loved one. You may find them interesting (or rude, arrogant, inappropriate and all the other things they were deemed to be by the denizens of the A&A swamp).

That being said, I think it is impossible to generalize how believers and nonbelievers grieve tragedies. As I indicated in my A&A posts, believers perhaps have reasons to be more accepting and optimistic than do nonbelievers. But when it comes to things like "moving on quickly" or "dwelling on the past" and so forth - no, I believe this depends more on the circumstances of the tragedy itself and the psychological profile and life circumstances of the person doing the grieving.
Your firt paragraph is exceedingly rude, "the A&A" swamp, is no more of a swamp than any christian sub forum. So I guess you bother to go to that sub-forum to poke, feel supeirour and judge those that are there for discussion?

I agreem, and said similar in my previous post, that greiving is personal and has nothing to do with any belief system.
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Old 02-16-2024, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Germany
16,756 posts, read 4,968,659 times
Reputation: 2110
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
As a believer in God, when someone I know passes away, I can be at peace knowing that person is no longer with us on Earth and will see that person in Heaven again someday.
So you do not believe in Hell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFarm34 View Post
I’ve noticed with nonbelievers, when a loved one passes, they tend to grieve differently. Not judging how anyone grieves but that just has been my perspective. They tend to use substances like drugs and alcohol to help deal with their grief. Many tend to isolate themselves, hold grudges, find a way to place blame, and dwell on the past.
How do you know these people were nonbelievers?

I agree with O'Dear on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by O'Darbo View Post
That being said, I think it is impossible to generalize how believers and nonbelievers grieve tragedies. As I indicated in my A&A posts, believers perhaps have reasons to be more accepting and optimistic than do nonbelievers. But when it comes to things like "moving on quickly" or "dwelling on the past" and so forth - no, I believe this depends more on the circumstances of the tragedy itself and the psychological profile and life circumstances of the person doing the grieving.
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