So I guess I'm relatively new as an atheist; I only started identifying myself as such a couple years ago. Right now, though, I'm facing the possible death of my grandmother, and it's likely that, if it does happen, it will happen soon. So I'm wondering: how do you all deal with death?
As for me, I'm not really sure how I'm dealing with this; I only just found out tonight. Anyway I don't mean to by whiny or anything, just wanted to hear your thoughts on the subject.
(And I also apologize if this has been discussed before elsewhere; I'm kind of a new Nerdfighter, too.)
I would like to share with you my views on death. They can be expressed to some degree among other points in a set of four videos by the philosopher Alan Watts. Because of listening to the opinions of Alan Watts, I am not afraid of death as he presents his philosophy in a way that I can understand well and the points themselves agree with both my opinions and the current scientific understanding of the universe. You'll enjoy them.
Here is a link to the first of the four videos. You can fins the other three in the sidebar.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with death, there is only your way.
My grandma died of cancer a few years ago. We found out about it when she had a stroke. And people came from all over the country just to spend time with her in the last months. It was terribly sad, devastating, to know that she was going and then gone, and in particular knowing she was in pain. But it was so wonderful that everyone took the time to let her know how much she was loved. To get together again, and to say that to her. She, being a wonderful person who also had helped many people in their later days, took it all with the graceful aplomb that only she could. And gave us all love and comfort herself. I never really got to tell her just how much she meant to me, but I did let her know that I loved her and that I care. And so did everyone else.
My only regret is not seeing her much as an adult until we found out she was dying.
So how to deal with death? For me, she is never coming back. She's not on a cloud somewhere saying, "hey, CD, stop smoking, it'll kill you"(like it did her, possibly). But she's in my heart, and the heart of the people who knew her. And every single time I think of her, no matter how down I am, I smile, because I am glad that I was lucky enough to have known her. And I say to myself, these are the good things she did that I'd like to do, too. And I remember that I ought to be doing those, instead of moping around :)
Her afterlife, as far as I am concerned, is found in the way that the people who knew her replicate her good deeds and live better for it. In that way, she is eternal.
That's very beautiful. I was especially touched by your last two sentences.
She was very beautiful. It's only fitting that I should recognise that. But thanks :) I hope this means that you're another person that her existence has made better. Pay it forward and all that!
i just acknowledge how fear of death is a survival instinct.
I'm very sorry about your grandmother, I hope that she can possibly recover.
I usually cope with it by completely ignoring the fact of my personal death. I figure that I'm still young and death can't be too close. Alas, this can only get me so far.
After attending my grandmother's funeral two weeks ago, death seemed to be thrown in my face, almost saying "Hey look over here!" As of now I guess I have no ways to cope. I just have to accept death because facts are facts and cannot be changed no matter what opinion you have on them or how much you want then to be false.