Being Atheist

For suggestions on what helps us cope after our lives have been affected by suicide.

Being Atheist

Postby thaderiver » Mon May 18, 2015 6:19 pm

Sometime I joke that not only am I not religious, I'm also anti-religion. Other people can believe what they want, but I'm really turned off by religion. My brother who committed suicide was also very non-religious. So are all my siblings.

So why, then, are people always trying to tell us that my brother's with God now, and we will see him again some day? My Grandpa also died late last year, and my Grandma keeps telling me how my brother is with Grandpa now.
I just want to yell at them, "No! He's not! He's dead and we're never going to see him again. You can believe in a magical heaven so you can escape the pain of the reality that he's gone forever, but don't push that on me."
Of course, I can't say any of that, because I don't want to make them hurt more. But it's actually hurting me more to have to hear them talk like that. I also think it's disrespectful of my brother's memory, who was not religious, so he does not want to be imagined by us to be in a heaven he doesn't believe exists.

I go to a group counseling support group. and nearly everyone else there is Christian. So all their advise to me sucks. Don't tell me, "Just remember you will see him again someday." Because, no, I won't.

Anyone else here atheist or non-religious? What are your experiences around hearing other people's religion and your loved one? What do you do about it?
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Re: Being Atheist

Postby cali » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:25 am

thadriver, I am a non-religious person, or as some would describe it, I am a "spiritual but not religious person."
The way I deal with what you are talking about is to know, and say out loud if I need to, is that none of us truly know what happens after death. There are many thoughts, ideas, faiths, beliefs, etc. But none of us know. For me, this is oddly comforting. For some it may be terrifying. Knowing that allows me to be accepting of other's choices. The only thing we truly know is that we don't know.

I believe that people mean to be comforting. That is what is most important. Even though they are doing it the wrong way for you, they are well intentioned. More often than not when people offer words meant to be comforting, even if they are not, I say thank you. The thank you is for their good intentions, not their actual words. If you want to speak more fully and freely about your feelings around this, I would contact an Atheist organization and see if you can communicate with them once in a while.

Take good care, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother.
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