As an Atheist, how do you deal with it?

It's definitely, definitely the hardest thing for me. I think about how crappy it is to have a mother who is hurt by my religious decisions, but how much worse would it be to realize that when I lose someone in my family, they're gone forever?

A lot of the Atheists I speak to don't think about it, or don't seem to mind. What do you think?
(Hopefully this isn't a duplicate thread.)

Tags: death

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Wow - you may have just talked me into buying that book!
When people turn to religion to comfort them during that difficult time, does Jesus (Allah, Yaweh, etc.) walk in the door with that person’s loved one and say “here you go my child”? NO! So what good does an empty promise do? Just because you can hope and wish that they’re up there waiting for you, doesn’t make it all better. Have you ever been to a religious funeral where people were told that their loved one is up in Heaven now waiting for them and everyone stops crying and said “oh, well that’s great then, never mind”? No. Losing a loved one sucks no matter what you believe happens to them when they go. There’s no comfort in religion that you can’t get from within yourself. I think the appeal to the religious healing process is that you have a gazillion people hugging you telling you it will be ok. You can totally get that from the loved ones who are still around. Like most other people said on this thread, you just need to accept that they are gone and cherish the memories of the good times.
I have lost half a dozen people I know to suicide. I have lost half a dozen people due to illness. There have been a couple that have died from drowning accidents.

I deal with it like a loss. I grieve and grieve hard. I cry, and scream, and vent, and kick and punch for the sheer stupidity of it all. And when the sadness goes, which it eventually always does, I remember. I remember the love, the sharing, caring, and connection.

I think the ones that don't mind or don't think about it, have yet to experience it.
This topic is now ironic... my brother has been missing since Thursday.
Yikes! Jezzy, please let us know how this turns out. I hope for the best.
The police came at 12:30 yesterday. He was found dead in his car; suicide. Of course, our mother is taking it worse than anyone. He and almost everyone else in my immediate family is an atheist or close, but my mother is very Mormon. I can't take away the only thing that's going to get her through this, right? She's always been hypersensitive, especially where her children are concerned. I don't think it's right to push the issue.

Thanks for the support.
I'm very sorry.

Was you brother an ex-Mormon? Dealing with the fallout of exiting?

Take especially good care of yourself at this time, Jezzy.
He was raised Mormon but I'm sure he started leaving pretty young. I can't remember a period where he was particularly interested in church... He was 30 in May. His birthday is the day before mine. So, there was time...
I'm very sorry. Even when one shows no signs of interest or involvement in the religion they were indoctrinated with, it's made a mark on them. The psychological effects are still there. Please take care of yourself, Jezzy, and don't hesitate to seek outside help to cope with your loss.
Damn. So sorry to hear this, Jezzy.
It's times like these I wish there really were magic words guaranteed to make things better.

I lost a brother to suicide many years ago. I think some of the greatest words of wisdom came from our parents: "There is no 'going back to normal.' We now have to redefine what normal is."

Besides just losing a loved one, and losing him way too young, suicide brings with it so many more levels of hurt, anger, frustration and sorrow. Everyone reacts and deals differently, though I've found it amazingly helpful to talk about it with people you trust. Even if all it is is you talking and them listening, just getting it out there helps the process.
Thanks, all of you. The funeral was yesterday and we had a wake at my brother's house. There were a lot of toasts, and it was really really good, especially since everyone could say the things they couldn't in an LDS chapel (my brother had an endearingly lewd/disturbing sense of humor). I think I'm doing better than most of my family, unless it hasn't hit me enough and I'm secretly doing worse. It just hurts to see them in so much pain. My dad never cries, so it scares me, and my mom is hypersensitive to begin with, so she's hysterical at times.

I actually went through the anger phase a little at the viewing. Just these little things made me really mad, like people wearing colors that were too bright, or they weren't crying enough, or they didn't know my brother well enough to be there. I got upset because my brother collected gems and stones and my sister-in-law put some on the table for people to take, and I didn't want kids and strangers taking my brother's things... I've never liked church or social functions to begin with, so I tried to hide but it didn't really work, and I was on picture duty anyways.

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