First off, these first 2 paragraphs are an intro to me and my stance since I haven't posted here before. I come from a very Christian family. My mom attends church every weekend, and church get-togethers and everything like that. She plays guitar in church. My younger sister is damn near just as devout as is the rest of my family. As for me, I only went to church when I was young because I had to, because it made my family happy. I never truly submitted to any of it.
I was always skeptical of religion even though I never said a word of it the first 22 years of my life so I got to thinking: This isn't right, I should be able to voice my beliefs to my family and friends. At the ripe age of 23 (two months ago to be exact) I did, and so far the results of doing so have been tough to say the least, more so for the rest of my family, but if it hurts them, it hurts me. I love my family and I hate putting them through this but I just couldn't stay quiet any longer. I couldn't keep going to church and thinking how ridiculous everything was. I couldn't keep pretending I was a Christian when I wasn't, and never truly was.
This has truly been hell for me seeing what I've put my family through by coming out Atheist. I know I've really hurt them, but there was no other way to do it. It had to be done. My mom and sister came to visit me this weekend for the first time since I graduated college and I have discussed my decision and the religion topic in general a few times with them over the past few days. I can tell they are devastated. To me, it's my decision and is no big deal of course (at least it shouldn't be) but what is tearing me up is the fact that they're actually crying over it and making me feel like I'm lost, like I don't actually know what I believe in. My mom asked if I would still go to her funeral, being an Atheist. I was like 'WTF?! Of course I will'. She said she couldn't stand the thought of me being at her funeral and not believing she was in heaven. They made it so that I honestly didn't want to defend myself, not that I couldn't. I just didn't want to defend my Atheist stance because I knew whatever I said would just hurt them more.
Anyone else have advice for me that isn't cold and unrealistic? I know my family is ignorant and I love them, so I don't want to abandon them or anything. I also don't want to cause them pain because of my stance.