I've never been affected at all by people around me dying, but I've also never had anyone this close die. So now I'll learn how I deal with death.

 

All of the relatives are posting messages on Facebook saying "prayers coming in from here" and "more prayers coming from here." I know I shouldn't be insulted by this. He was a Christian and probably would be grateful for these (if he weren't unconscious and all), but it all just seems so silly, like they aren't taking it seriously.

 

The image I have in my brain is of a bad Christian version of a Saturday morning cartoon, where there is some crisis and everyone puts on their superhero outfit and says "last minute prayer squad ASSEMBLE!" And what exactly are they praying for anyway? He's going to die peacefully, without pain, surrounded by family. What is there to pray for?

 

"God, we hope you end his life in exactly the same way you were planning to before we started praying, because we approve of your methods used in this instance. Amen."

Views: 30

Tags: dad, death, dying, father, prayer

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Comment by kent l thompson on February 7, 2014 at 3:57am

As for many of us atheist we do not fear death......as far as theist go manytimes they do as they try to hang on to a loss to their life such as with your dad.....questions concerning heaven or hell? As I see it your dad has gone on to a better place,a place of no pain,fear,and many other emotions expressed by mankind.......a place of no light,no sound,no pain,no nothing......just freedom from mortal conscientious........with that all said and done,it still hurts to lose the ones you love,and I am truly sorry for your loss.........

Comment by Richard on August 6, 2011 at 12:20pm
I proudly present to you atheists and caring for others without being good for a reason just being good because its the right thing to do, close your eyes and dream, open your ears and follow, no time to lose, let our support be a help to you, you've got many freinds that are on your side, we have a lot of support for you, some of it may bring you happiness and some of it may bring you sadness, you will make great choices and enjoy life to the maximum, remember one thing, be proud of yourself "To be an atheist requires strength of mind and goodness of heart found in not one in a thousand." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, I have only one sentence for you, with thousands of meanings, life is just a game, take the best of it.
Comment by Atheist Andrea on August 2, 2011 at 7:49pm
I just read about your dad, David and am sorry for your loss. Don't feel bad about what you said above. Prayers can seem fake and only something people say when they really don't know what to say. Thank you for sharing your deep feelings.
Comment by Sentient Biped on August 2, 2011 at 5:37am

David,

You have my empathy.  My Dad died last year, and my Mom 3 months ago.  Losing parents is hard.  It can change how a person looks at life. 

 

I honored their funereal wishes and respected community standards regarding burial.  At the visitation and funeral, I did not pretend to be theist, but I also did not make a point of my atheism.

 

They had asked if we wanted open casket.  Both of them were emaciated when they died, and they didn't look like themselves.  I decided in both cases to take a look by myself, I don't know why.  They didn't look at all like they did before they died - I wished they didn't plump them up so much and put on so much  makeup, they didn't look real.  But it is a time of "it is what it is".

 

Hang in there.  Be yourself.  Remember him for who he was, the good and the bad and the human.  Take care of yourself.

Comment by Sassan K. on August 2, 2011 at 4:38am
I'm sorry :(. At least it wasn't all of a sudden and you expected it, right? Sorry again David.
Comment by roland707 on August 1, 2011 at 11:03pm
It will be tough, but you can persevere. Sorry again.
Comment by David Anam on August 1, 2011 at 10:27pm

He has now passed away. I was on a plane flying home, just about to turn off my phone when I got the call. He donated his body to science, and they had already taken him by the time I got home.

 

I also didn't mean to give the wrong impression with my criticism of prayer. I know they have nothing but good intentions and it is silly for it to get to me. I was honestly very surprised by how affected I was by it, as I've never really been bothered by prayer before. And like I said, dad would have been grateful for it.

 

It's been great seeing everyone from my family again, especially my two brothers who I barely get to see anymore. The only particularly sad part about the timing is that he will won't be able to make it to my wedding, which he was very determined to be there for after he missed my brother's. However, overall we should all be so lucky to have such a peaceful death.

 

Thank you all for your kind words. So far I don't really feel emotional about it, but maybe that will change as it sinks in, I don't know.

Comment by roland707 on August 1, 2011 at 9:23am

Very sorry about your dad. I've lost many people close to me. Like Clarence, I like to think about the shared times with them and how they were in life. It may be irritating to us when people 'send prayers', but most of them think they are doing the very most useful thing they can when they say that. They are wrong, but I don't think it's malicious. 

 

Comment by Sassan K. on August 1, 2011 at 5:23am
I'm so sorry - I always fear death. I have not had someone close to me die as of yet either...my condolences - stay strong.
Comment by Clarence Dember on August 1, 2011 at 4:52am
Hello David.
I too have witnessed the inevitability of departure from this life over the generations. It seems to be more a function of biology than one of time or mass or acceleration, will or inertia. It is wonderful to experience this kind of a passing without a degredation in memory of our loved ones as conceptual beings. The knowledge that they accomplished their lives and times as they accompanied us as fully conceptual beings is a Pearl of wisdom handed down to each succeeding generation by the ones who go before them. May you also leave an inspired legacy for the youth which may follow you.

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