On a normal day an atheist will give 101 reasons why it’s better to push away the unyielding dogmatism of religion and spirituality, but this isn’t a normal day.
Dealing with death as an atheist has a harsh, cold truth to it avoided by the religiously hopeful.
We know it’s the end.
We don’t get the luxury of an afterlife to say our sorries and our thank yous.
That boat has sailed. Instead once the shock has faded we are left with nothing but the truth.
The truth that next time we see that person, they will be nothing but cold flesh and stuffing.
This truth is when the atheist will be jealous of religions faith
It’s hard to hear “they’re in a better place” or “death is just the next part of life” because we see though those lies.
I am writing this today, a mere 30 minutes after hearing that a friend and mentor has passed, and I can tell you now that the 5 stages of grief are bullshit.
Acceptance isn’t the end of grief for atheists, it’s the first fucking stage.
You know that that person has left you forever and there is nothing you can do, it’s too late for that now – you have no choice but to accept it.
I can tell you now, I wish there was a god.
Maybe then this mistake could be corrected, this grievous injustice fucking fixed.
As atheists we know that nothing can change and that you just need to find a way to live in a world that has lost some of its shine.
James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano once said “Well what are you gonna do? You pick up the pieces and you go on.” Those words have always felt powerful as I spoke them to friends in pain. I can tell you now they have never felt more true than today.
The truth is, at the end of it all, that the religious with their books and beliefs understand death more easily.
They get to hear pre-prepared condolences repeated over and over and feel strengthened by their faith.
They never have to say goodbye, never have to truly accept that it’s the end.
For atheists every time we hear this, it further twists a knife in our heart knowing the reality is much different from this.
I want to close this article by saying goodbye dear loved one. You taught me so much and I can never repay you.
This debt I owe you can never be paid in anything other than the success you wanted for me and every other life you touched.
I truly hope that I’m wrong and we will meet again some day.