My father was diagnosed with Stage 2B Pancreatic Cancer this January. He has completed the Whipple procedure, and is now facing 3 rounds of chemo and advised radiation. He has been given a 5 year survival rate. My father is 52 years old.
A little about my background: I was raised as a Christian, but started second-guessing religion when my mother was in a near fatal car accident when I was just 7 years old. The older I grew, the more I doubted what I'd learned about "our maker" and had a harder time accepting the unfathomable stories told in the Bible. What little faith I had fizzled out entirely when I went on to art school and surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who questioned the same things I did. I met my incredibly intelligent husband in college, who is a Catholic-turned-Atheist (there seem to be a lot of those, have you noticed?), and he was able to provide very logical, sensible explanations to every devine-related question I had. His rational, valid answers - and watching Zeitgeist - was the final nail in the religion coffin for me.
I'm currently struggling with how to handle this prognosis. I've been through the desperation and depression phases, and am now immersed in full-on anger and furious resentment. I'm beyond irritated with people who tell me "It's all in God's plan," "We are praying for him," and variations of the like. I've even had a relative have the audacity to say to me something along the lines of "I hope this situation has re-ignited your belief in Him." I usually just feel bad for people who are too scared or narrow-minded to face the reality that we're on our own, but now it just infuriates me that people are clinging to the idea that "He will make it all better." If anything, this has absolutely proven to me how there is no possible way a greater power exists. One would not let my infinitely caring, honest, and kind father writhe in pain and look his daughter in the face asking her to kill him.
So, my question to all atheists is: How do I cope with my father dying? Who can I talk to that will understand and identify with my pain and my need for rational thinking to deal with this terrible situation?