My grandmother recently passed away. She was 95 years old and an amazing woman. I was raised in an atheist household, which had always been something I was very proud of but it's like that old adage: the hardest thing in the world to be is an 88 year old atheist. Towards the end my grandmother got "spiritual." She was never annoyingly religious or maintained a strict relationship with the fake man sitting on the cloud, but the night she went into the hospital (about a week before her death) she requested that I get the chaplain for her. I didn't know where it had come from. I knew she spent time with a liberal pastor but I didn't know it was to the extent that she would want a chaplain on her side in the hospital. Well today I realized where it came from. Her group of friends at the Fraternity of the Eagles had a memorial for her. It was really pleasant, except there was more than one prayer and they kept singing hymns. Granted I kept my mouth shut. Today wasn't about me; it was about my grandmother and that's what she would have wanted. I guess it just shocked me to find out that the F.O.E. was a Christian organization. I am so naive thinking everything is secular or that just because my mother, my aunt and my four uncles are all atheists that my grandmother would be too. (I thought, at least, she would be more of a private spiritualist.) It was a very nice service. The Eagles did their best for a woman that many of them admired, but I was still shocked. Every time someones said "she is in a better place" I wondered if they meant the wooden box her ashes are currently residing in.

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