Hello, I'm Grace from West Virginia.  My father died suddenly, unexpectedly yesterday from complications due to gallbladder surgery.  My father was deeply religious, but he accepted me as an atheist.  My family keeps saying "he is in a better place now".  No, I think, he isn't.  He's in a morgue about to be autopsied to figure out why such a healthy person is dead. 

In a few days, I'm going home for his funeral where i am going to be surrounded by unpleseant religion  I'm going to be nice about it through the nausea, because that's what Dad would have wanted.  My sister requested the 23rd Pslam (which I hate) be read at the funeral as well as my least favorite hymn Amazing Grace.  She told me to think about the 23rd Pslam and I would feel better.  I hated that one when I was still a christian. 

though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil ~ Why would this make me feel better?  My Dad was the nicest, most generous guy on the planet.  Why would he fear evil? 

My family talks about my Dad like he's just in another room that one day they will walk through and be with him. But I know he is gone. Gone. Gone.  Dead as he will ever be.  Whatever was that made him everything that he was has left the building.  He's not floating on a cloud somewhere waiting for me.  He is gone and I shall surely miss him.  I have no atheist friends, so I found this board where hopefully I can talk to fellow atheists without being judged, prayed for, quoted scripture to or anything else patronizing.  Sorry to dump all this emotional garbage in my first post, but I have no other atheists to talk to and i really can't stand to hear how slap happy my Dad is with Jesus, because I was slap happy having him here with me .





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I'm really sorry for your loss and, please, don't apologise for your post. Loss of a loved one is never easy. Much less for an atheist, in a way, because as atheists we don't have the crutch-like luxury of believing that person to be waiting for us to be reunited somewhere. Being surrounded by religion in its many shapes is certainly not easy either. If there is one line you might happen to get a lot from other family members, that's "how can you believe he's just gone?" We get that all the time, as if not believing in an afterlife were something we have chosen to do, rather than a realisation that simply dawned on us and that we had no means to ignore any longer. Sadly, there's not much you can do other than hang in there. Remember two things, though. One, if you're verbally assaulted you have a right to defend yourself. The grief will not entitle any of your relatives to be a patronising prick. You have a right to mourn the final loss of your father. Two, you'll always find someone to support you on this website :)
Thank you. I know they are just trying to help or saying things that help themselves. But it really makes me feel worse.
I can imagine. There's a thin line between empathy and letting people walk all over you. Never lose sight of that line and defend yourself when they cross it. You have as much of a right to grieving in peace as they do.
Welcome, and I hope you find some comfort here. No need to apologize. One of the many reasons Atheist Nexus is here is situations like yours.

There are two groups on Nexus for people who have lost loved ones: The Exit and Godless Grief: Loss of a Loved One. You may find one or both helpful.
Is there anything you can request be read or said at the funeral that will give you comfort?

I was so out of it when my mom died and busy taking care of details (eldest child, father died when I was five), and trying to make sure my grandmother was comforted, at least somewhat, that I don't even remember her funeral. I think it took place in a funeral home. Anyhow, if I had been able to focus a wee bit on my own grief, I'd have had time to come up with something for myself. Maybe.

It's hard not knowing any other atheists, especially when someone you love has died.
My dad was a veteran. He was a Reservist before and during the Vietnam War. People said mean things to him because he did not go to Vietnam. He did not go to Vietnam, but he worked in the VA hospital caring for those who did. My dad worked for the Department of the Army for 30 years as a DoD civilian. He gave over 30 years of his life to the Army and to his country.

I have requested my Dad be buried with full military honors. He gave many years of his life for this country, and I will make damn sure his country gives this honor to him which he has earned and deserves. I am a disabled veteran myself. When those 21 shots are fired, everyone will know and acknowledge that my Dad was a hero even if he didn't go to war. When other people dodged the draft and tried to get out of serving their country, my Dad volunteered. He volunteered in 1961 before Vietnam heated up. There was nothing to avoid.

Being veterans was one big thing my Dad and I shared. The funeral and all the rest is for everyone else, but the 21 gun salute is between me and my Dad. (And hopefully, the US Army :o) ) I hope the Fort where he worked will share some soldiers for him. Otherwise, the Legion or the VFW will. But I would prefer it be men and women from the base where he served as a Reservist and a DoD civilian.
Good on you for requesting he be buried with full military honors.
Grace, sorry to hear of your dad's sudden passing.

My dad passed away somewhat suddenly (for 81) back in March. I had to bite my tongue at the wake when I got the "he's in a better place" and "he looks at peace now" crap. (If it's so better and peaceful, why don't you trade places with him?) There was a big Catholic mass for my mass-every-morning mom that I've forgotten about already. The best thing I did for grieving was the eulogy. I wrote and talked about his life without one mention of god, faith or an afterlife. He was a veteran also (Korea) and is now buried at the National Cemetery on Cape Cod.

I do miss him, although I'm not in the least worried if he made heaven or is burning in a lake of fire now. His body might be preserved in a nice tin box in a beautiful field, but he will really live on in my memories of him. I think that's even a better, more peaceful resting place than some bronze age scribe could ever dream up.
oh, hi.

just accept what happened. and move on.

it's hard but that's the right thing to do.

most people are just like you when someone they love dies.

i think because we dont prepared ourselves on it.

you and people there are different beliefs so just accept that. respect it.
understand it. and also it will be easier if you let them know whats yours.

these all is a part of life Ma'am. it's about how you face it.

always remember this: "My father was deeply religious, but he accepted me as an atheist."
heheh a quote from you....to you.

not all about religion is wrong and bad. just like atheist and pagans.
we were all people.

just be good and live your life, Ma'am!

You're not alone.
Grace. In my hometown of New Orleans we say " Cry when a baby is born and celebrate when they die". Celebrate his life in your mind while you hear amazing grace in the background. Ignore the religious service and shut it out and remember your father was a boy at one time that would play and laugh. I am sure he did something that made you laugh or cry sometime in your life. It hurts but remember the last hug even if it was years back. Remember that. When you stop doing that he will really die. Whether you did or didn't have a good relationship isn't the point. His life was a part of yours. As an atheist I struggle with your moment in time right now. Lost both my parents and the love of my life and it hurts. Thinking your loved one is waiting for you seems cruel to me. Celebrate your fathers life. The funeral is pointless but it gives you closure so ignore the he's with jesus now nonsense and remember you are there for YOU not your family.
My dad and I were estranged for many years, but we made up three years ago and had grown quite close.

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