Thus far, June has proven to be a bad month. There has been one death after another. My friends father died last week, a girl I went to school with committed suicide, another friends father died, and now my brother in laws mother died yesterday. Last year this time my best friend’s father died. I am in shock. The only thing I don’t share in common with everyone else I have been into contact with about these deaths is that I don’t believe in a god or a heaven. I feel that I am not being a good friend/family member because I am not "praying for them" or telling them that their loved one is in a better place now. I feel alone in the way I am grieving and wish I didn’t have to avoid talking about the deceased to avoid talk about them being in a "better place." Can anyone give me advice on how to deal?

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Comment by Ed on June 24, 2012 at 12:21am

A positive element can be in reflecting on the good memories that your friend's gained from their loved ones. It seems tragic to dwell on the circumstances surrounding their death instead of being thankful for the time they had together. The Irish have a party in tribute to the deceased which I believe is a healthier approach to the loss of loved ones.

Comment by Cristynfaye on June 24, 2012 at 12:42am

A couple summers ago this kind of happened to me.  My father in law died, then the mother of a childhood friend died, who was almost like a mother to me.  Then two more friend's parents died.  Just around Thanksgiving, a friend of mine died, too.  I wasn't really close with her, but she was part of a group of friends of mine who are all Christians still.  With all of these deaths, I could pretty much figure out my own grief, but I wanted to also be there for my friends, the ones closest to the people who had passed away.  I don't really know how to offer comfort to them.  Many of them got together for prayer or whatever, and I never felt really like that was something I could do or be a part of.  You can't tell them that their loved one is in a better place.  But you can be there for them, and just love them anyway.  Which I think means more.  Lots of people offer words of encouragement in times like that, but not many people really stick around to help or just to physically be with their grieving friends.  So I guess my advice is to just be there for your friends who have lost loved ones.  They will know that you care for them, and that you grieve with them.  Grieving *with* someone is such a special thing.

Comment by John Kelly on June 24, 2012 at 2:58am

The only thing I can add to what my wife said above is to say that you don't need to be praying for them to let them know that your heart goes out to them and you have been thinking about them.  Praying usually means having your mind and attention on them, so you can do the real thing just as well.  Take care.  Dealing with death is awful.

Comment by James Cox on June 24, 2012 at 12:23pm

Dear Quinn:

Our mother died 2/10/11, at 88. She had lived on land purchased after WWII. She and dad, raised 4 kids, one of which died of cancer in 82', dad died in 97'. Lisa and I (I am the son in law), now are responsible for the land, and are now involved with continued preservation as a protected habitat.

On mom's birthday last year, the family and web of friends spread mom's ashes over the property. My small sample was spread over our garden, which grew good enough tomatoes, which Lisa and I ate later as a sacrament.

It is interesting to think that, mom's water was returned to the atmosphere of the earth months before, and her ashes are now continuing to promote a rich spot of life on the planet. When I walk out into the forest, I notice flowering plants that I do not remember from years before, and given the rains of this year, the jungle is a lush green with hummingbirds darting among the trees.   

I guess the cycle of life continues. ;p)

Comment by Quinn on September 18, 2013 at 10:52pm

Thank you all for your comments and advice..

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