In the recent years I have experienced the loss of three family members. I understand that a persons religious beliefs can bring them peace. That is all fine and dandy. For me when someone dies, They are gone. Remembering them in a loving way is the best way to honor them.

I have heard many consoling words."They are in heaven now"., "She is with Jesus now", "He is with his wife", "they are in a better place", Ect, ect. I accept these words as a showing of love and concern. Nothing more, nothing less. I thank those who spoke and grieve in my own way. When asked how I feel or what I think, I usually speak of a time when the deceased had a positive influence on my life and how I will miss them.

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Comment by Janelle Campbell on September 30, 2010 at 11:52am
I think when people say to me "He's in a better place now", when they know that I'm an atheist it marginalizes my grief and his life. I recently watched a video with Pat Tillman's brother Rich said that his brother was f'ing dead and not in heaven. I know he lashed out and was extremely emotional at the time but I sympathize. I'd rather someone say they'll be thinking of me, then to insert whatever beliefs they have into my life. I don't mind prayers, but don't tell me my brother is somewhere he's not to make me feel better. Most Christians will say of anyone that "they are in a better place", even when they would really think that person is being tortured eternally. Keep your heaven and hell the hell away from me, thanks. :)
Comment by Patrick B on September 28, 2010 at 1:20pm
I appreciate the kind words. The human spirit is stronger than anything else I know of.
Grace, hang in there. Remember the love you shared.
Kathryn, It is difficult to speak truthfully to children. In the long run it is a better path.
Hugs to you both.
Patrick :)
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on September 28, 2010 at 11:35am
I recently lost my father. A few days later, I found out my uncle has terminal cancer. Just this past week, I found out one of my aunts is also about to die. I feel a bit chased by death right now as unreasonable as that sounds. I think in the short run religious types do find comfort in these words, but I see no sign this works well as a long term strategy. I am so sorry for your loss.

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