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.

Greg

Views: 498

Comment by Simon Paynton on April 21, 2014 at 1:00pm

I'm an atheist, and I believe in life after death.  It's not something I chose: it was forced upon me.  I think of it as another natural world.  If I'm wrong - it doesn't matter.  If I'm right, it has implications. 

Comment by onyango makagutu on April 21, 2014 at 1:19pm

Here are two addresses on loss that I think you may like.

Comment by Davis Goodman on April 21, 2014 at 1:22pm

While our consciousness will have ceased and our bodies eventually are obliterated...this doesn't mean that we don't leave footprints. These foot prints can be both physical (objects the person created or handled) and recorded (writing and works of art) as well as memories both artificial (videos and pictures) and memories that other people have (exaggerated or not). These foot-prints can last a very long time. In this sense we don't even need any form of an afterlife to hold onto part of the essence of someone. While this may not be as comforting as the idea of a magical reunion with our loved ones...the foot prints that others leave are still in the here and now and will continue to impact on our lives in a very powerful and beautiful way. I hope this helps in some way. I'm very sorry Greg for your loss and I hope you can always lovingly remember and celebrate your late wife's life.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on April 21, 2014 at 3:15pm

I [...] would love to believe that Suzanne still exists somewhere and that she is being looked after.

Suzanne's profile is right here, Greg. It's every word she ever wrote on TA: every thought expressed, every joke made, every point debated, all 695 times she did it. We're looking after it, for whatever it's worth.

Beyond that, it counts for something to live as a memory, to live in the imagination of others, and to live as the legacy you leave behind, even if it's just your family, friends, photos, cards, letters, and web site postings. It's the closest we get to an afterlife.

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.

The last time someone close to me died, being surrounded by Christians who offered each other such comfort was like being surrounded by heroin addicts exchanging needles. They had their comforts and I never doubted they worked, but I never envied them. I pitied their weakness.

You reject a harmful, comforting lie and bear a difficult, painful truth. That is strength. That is courage. That honors the wife you mourn. If you don't feel proud of that, you should. 

Comment by Simon Paynton on April 21, 2014 at 3:21pm

"at the moment, it all sucks."  - I can appreciate where you're coming from.  I wouldn't like to lose my angel. 

Comment by Watchman on April 21, 2014 at 5:07pm

Greg ... I wonder ... can I ask you .... what would Suzzanne have said if she had read your post but posted by some one else.?

Comment by Obfuskation on April 21, 2014 at 5:10pm

I'm sorry for your loss.  Hang in there brother.

Comment by Davis Goodman on April 21, 2014 at 6:51pm

That's beautiful Belle.

Comment by Unseen on April 22, 2014 at 9:32am

Every one of us who has lost a loved one has felt much the same thing. I don't say that in any way to cheapen what you are going through but to let you know that you are not alone. Grieving is a "one day at a time" process. 

Watchman said it a different way, but eventually you will find that honoring Suzanne will consist in getting on with your life and slowly finding joy in new loves, because that is what she would have wanted. She would not have wanted her passing to go unnoticed, I'm sure, but at the same time, she would have wanted you to have love in your life.

One way to start: if you don't already have one, is with a pet. Rescue a kitten or puppy. Even if you don't take one home with you, just watching them will remind you that life goes on. Think of how Suzanne would have reacted to their frolicking. Keep visiting and I bet one day your heart will open to one and suddenly your life won't be complete if you don't take it home. Having something else to love and care for will help, I'm sure.

Comment by Erock68la on April 22, 2014 at 10:16am

My deepest condolences.  Lean on your family and friends; use your support network.  Don't think too far ahead; just put one foot in front of the other right now.  Remember to breathe, remember the good times.  Remember the deeply held principles you shared; that's how you honor her and find comfort for yourself.

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