We, as social animals, do not typically enjoy saying goodbye. I have never met anyone who was excited to say goodbye to someone they love. What makes this inevitable event more bearable is the fact that we will be able to see them again. What happens though, when this promise of reunion is taken away? A religious person never truly experiences the feeling of losing someone with no hope of ever seeing them again, but for an atheist, losing someone to death is a very final thing.
Since embracing my atheism, letting go of the delusion that my deceased loved ones are: “watching over me” or are “up in heaven talking to Jesus” has been the biggest struggle. It is a reality, however, that I was ok to accept in theory. Recently though, my willingness to accept a harsh reality over a kinder lie has been put to the test.
On May 13th, 2015, my dad died due to lung cancer. He had only been diagnosed about 3 months earlier, so it happened pretty quickly. My relationship with my father was not your typical father-daughter relationship, I was raised by my grandparents and did not even know who my father was until I was 13. At that time, we began writing letters. I still have every letter that he ever sent me. When we were able, we spent quite a bit of time together. Being around him when he was sober, was a very enjoyable experience. For a while though, I did not see him, he was addicted to drugs and alcohol and I refused to bear witness to him stumbling all over himself. After he was diagnosed, I had a choice to make. I could have stayed away and then losing him would have been much easier. It still would have hurt, but not near as severely as it does now. I decided that I wanted to reestablish our relationship. I wanted to use the time that was left to get a better understanding of who exactly my father was underneath the drugs and addiction. Some (including myself) may think that is was a stupid thing to do. In a way, it was setting myself up for a fall. I felt that it was the right thing for me to do though.
Continue reading “Saying Goodbye Instead of See You Later”
Sometimes life has a funny way of kicking you in the ass, and death has a way of helping you remember memories you once had forgotten. I don’t know where to begin or why this should even bother me the way it does. For this connection has been one that was long lost, drifted away on a sea of time and space only to be brought to my mind with the passing of a common acquaintance.
This week I received an email from an old friend. One that used to share life and happiness with me as we journeyed through love, loss, and friendship. His life was one no one would envy but his hard and honest work has always won out. This friend left for another state years ago, and we slowly started to lose touch. His favorite saying was, “We have said it all before. What more can we say?” This used to bother me, as I was feeling the distance of his path leaving mine and as the winding roads started to split apart until little to no contact was made. This friend had a hard life. I got to share some of his struggles and learn with him through many a trial as we gathered our belongings and hiked the road of life.
Continue reading “Personal Journey Series – Reflections on the Passing of a Father”
I believe in no god but my Mother and Father who ushered me into this world.
I believe in the family of man and all the ramifications therein.
I believe in the truth and shall seek it forever, however long that may be.
I shall shun all religions, and cults, from all regions.
I shall cling to my life as long as I can and renounce any death cults in kind.
I shall bring up my family as any man should, without threats or rapprochements on their decisions.
I shall never chose their path, however they shall know mine.
I shall never be judgemental as far as it is in my power to be.
I may make mistakes and admit my wrongs but I will never bow down to false propitiations of others.
I shall turn the other cheek but once, woe unto those who continue their insulting behavior.
I will never submit to forced love of any kind, it is an abomination.
When my time comes to die I shall never renounce who I am or what I stand for.
I shall face my life and Death without Shame!
I open my eyes and my first coherent thought is, “It is Monday. My dad’s been dead for three days.”
I need to email my professors. Let them know what happened. Be sure to use the word “unexpectedly” so they understand. So they can more accurately calculate my allowable allotment of grief. Let them know I didn’t complete the homework they assigned over the weekend. Let them know I won’t be on campus today. I won’t be on campus tomorrow either. Ask for more time.
I had 41 of his 62 years… but I’d kill for more time.
I wonder how long I’ll measure the passing of time in days since his death. He would have been amused by the thought that his death might spawn the birth of a new calendar. Just like all those people who think A.D. means “After Death”; Jesus crucified to kick off the Gregorian calendar.
I should really write this shit down.
Is staccato a thing that thoughts can be? Mine are. Staccato. Sharp and subtle and brief. Pizzicato. Plucked from the air for a flash and them gone. No… pizzicato was Friday. Sitting at the bus stop. Screaming into the phone.
“What? Oh god… I’m on my way. I’m on my way!”
Continue reading “An Atheist Grieves”
“I Loved My Wife But I Wished She Would Die”
Originally Written By: John La Grange
Read By: Christopher Tanner
Find It: http://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2014/11/17/i-loved-my-wife-but-i-wished-she-would-die/ideas/nexus/
This is the last letter read at the end of the Death With Dignity show. If you like the letter please click above and leave a comment. Also check out the full video here.
Godless Offerings are condensed clips from shows done on the Atheist Analysis network meant to bring a shortened version of our shows or to highlight important points made during the show.
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