Sometimes I envy the religious in death!

I am Greg, husband of the recently deceased White Unicorn, Suzanne Olson-Hyde. We are/were both confirmed atheists of long standing - roughly 50 years each - we both gave up religion in our early teens.

But now that Suzanne has 'ceased to be', I am having an internal struggle between my logical self - still DEFINITELY an atheist, and my 'fantasy', wishful thinking self that would love to believe that Suzanne still exists somewhere and that she is being looked after.

My 'fantasy' self can't REALY come to grips with the fact that the "essence" of Suzanne, all her memories, personality, love and humour have simply evaporated back into the cosmic whatever. At this time in my life, I actually envy religious people as they have faux comfort ladled out to them by the faith they have - it really works for them as they don't realise or won't admit, that it is indeed 'faux'. So, faux or not, the comfort is real - for them.

Sadly, us atheists have no such comfort or reassurance, faux or otherwise - Suzanne is not in heaven being looked after by god or his entourage, and I certainly will not meet up with her when I snuff it - for me, at the moment, it all sucks.

I am new here and I hope I have posted this in the correct place/manner etc.


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Comment by Tom Sarbeck on June 8, 2014 at 5:17am

Greg, Suzanne's memories, personality, love and humour have NOT simply evaporated back into the cosmic whatever. You have them.

Comment by Dr. Bob on June 8, 2014 at 1:31pm

Ah, Greg, I am so sorry for your loss, and for the loss to all of the communities in which she engaged.   Her passion for justice will not be forgotten by any who knew her.

As a token visiting theist here, I will say a prayer for Suzanne.  Perhaps you all are right, and she is gone, and the rest of us await that fate.  But there is always the possibility that we do not yet have all the data on this.   If so, I expect her consciousness will welcome you into whatever is to come ( and she will surely kick my ass for being a Catholic and praying for the repose of her soul).

Until then, may you find comfort in the communities which share some of your memories of her, and the courage to persevere in good things as I'm sure she would have expected you to.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on June 9, 2014 at 6:17am

Keeping in mind that dictionaries both describe and prescribe word use, I turned to my tiny shirt-pocket-size Larousse French-English dictionary. It defines faux thusly: 1) wrong, 2) false, 3) fake.

So, Greg, your ...religious people have faux comfort ladled out to them by the faith they have uses the word correctly. My vision might be failing but that's one of at least two reasons I see nothing there to envy.

The native people I read of long ago in a cultural anthropology course have something I envy; they regard tribe members as having died only when no living person remembers them.

Further, a bit of thought tells us that Bob adapted a book formula -- I will say a prayer for X ... for the repose of her/his soul -- to the circumstances of Suzanne's death.

With formulas that call for prayer, xians conceal their feelings.

The existentialism that helped me free myself from religion told me I am condemned to freedom. We who have no belief in an afterlife are condemned to feel.

BTW, when we kick Bob's ass, let's each turn our kicking foot sideways. He is on his way to joining us and has a long journey ahead; we don't want to hurt him.

Comment by Unseen on June 9, 2014 at 12:40pm

Bob, explain how your praying for an atheist's "soul" is any different from the Mormons baptizing the dead (including Holocaust victims) into Mormonism. Doing somthing they would have disavowed in life is abusing the dead.

Comment by Erock68la on June 9, 2014 at 12:51pm

I agree Bob was being disrespectful, and I don't know whether it was intentional or not.  In this case I would just let it go.  Hashing it out here is disrespectful by all involved, in my humble opinion.

Comment by MikeLong on June 9, 2014 at 6:51pm

Sorry, Greg, for your HUGE loss.  It's not usual to use the word, "giant" in reference to a female, but, to me, it fits her personage.

Bob, you missed a real opportunity to garner a modicum of respect. If only you'd just dropped your middle paragraph.

Comment by Greg Olson-Hyde on June 29, 2014 at 4:04am

Sorry for the lack of replies, but every time I try I fail to find the required words. However, I would like to say that I was overwhelmed by the responses and will reply one day when the muse returns to my brain.

One thing I would like to clarify is what I meant by "all her memories ... have simply evaporated back into the cosmic whatever." I meant that the private memories in Suzanne's head, all the private nuances of her life that even I was not privy to, are the ones that have evaporated, not the memories OF her, those will never vanish. Not sure if I am making sense, so I will end here, only to return one day with greater verbosity and clarity.

Thanks to All - even her arch nemesis Bob

Comment by Belle Rose on June 29, 2014 at 4:53am
A woman's heart is as deep as the ocean, but I do believe women who love fully do not use restraint, just as their tongue use no restraint! LOL!!! And so you can rest assured that her internal memories (thoughts) were shared with you Greg, not hidden from you. And so they are your memories now, thus they live inside of you.
Comment by _Robert_ on June 29, 2014 at 7:46am

The afterlife cheapens the real and only life we have. Let us all believe this life is only a test. Diminish ourselves to deluded, worshiping fools walking around clinging to this or that myth. Not allowing ourselves to experience the true sadness we should feel. Instead we talk in an "all-knowing" fashion about a "better place". That "better place" should be right here and now. Instead we spend our lives building hypothetical pyramids.


Comment by Seraphina on June 29, 2014 at 4:54pm

Hi Greg,

Firstly, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I'm very new here so I never had the opportunity to interact with your wife, but having read the comments here she sounds like an awesome lady.

I very recently and suddenly lost my father, so I can empathise with everything you say in your post. My father and I were very close, I was the stereotypical 'Daddy's girl'. I still struggle with the fact that we will never speak again, I will never hear his voice or laugh at one of his bad jokes. I also slightly envy the religious people who tell me "You'll meet again" or "He's still watching out for you". I would do anything to have a chance to speak to him one more time, or to ask his advice or just to give him a hug. 

I take comfort in things like photographs, his favourite books (many of which are favourites of mine too), his odd sense of humour (which I inherited) and knowing that he was a good, kind, honourable man. He will 'live on' in me, I will take what he has taught me and pass it on to others and remember him everyday. 

Sending you a virtual hug X


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