With the passing of my Uncle yesterday, topped with the news that my deceased best friend’s husband has opted not to undergo cancer treatment, actively making the choice to die, my mind has been filled with emotional turmoil. Turmoil which I am failing, miserably, to control.
I learned both of these things late in my work day, which didn’t allow for me to react to them as separate matters. I am both devastated, and mad.
The fact that I was forced into calling my church deacon father to deliver the news of my Uncle’s passing just ramped up my levels of turmoil. It came with a warning to me.. “Be nice”, I was told.
Being nice entails me listening to my father praying and asking god to bless me, both of which he well knows I do not believe. I have been tolerant of it for a great number of reasons.. He is my Dad. He is getting on up in years and is desperately grasping at some semblance of inner peace. My fathers prayers and blessings are for HIS comfort. This is something I comprehend. As a Humanist, and because I feel it is the right thing to do, I am glad he has that comfort. He’s found it in no other place in his life in nearly 70 years. Because he is at peace, I am at peace with it.
However, with the death of my militant atheist husband last year, my father assumed that my atheism died with him. Enter the internal fight.
Prayers are empty words to an Atheist. They are the act of saying something, without having to actually DO anything. Anytime I speak to my Dad, I end the call feeling both pissed off and sad, all at once.
My father taught me reason and logic. The only thing that changed, was his fear of death. That fear was so overwhelming and cumbersome to him that he reached out for any level of comfort he could find in close proximity to him.. And it happened to be the church right down the street.
I have found comfort in knowing that I only have this ONE chance at life, thanks to atheism. It has helped to mold and direct how I live my life, as a Humanist.
I went to look at my Aunt’s FB page this morning, to see if they had announced his service yet. Post after post after post of prayers and lamentations of god taking an angel home.
I am heartbroken at the loss of my Uncle. I will be heartbroken at the loss of my best friend’s husband, when he passes. But today, I feel such an overwhelming sadness at seeing so many who are desperately grasping at hope of an afterlife in the face of their own mortality.
Finding peace that is based in fear is an overbearing thing to carry on ones shoulders for an entire lifetime. It’s sad that this is all they have.
I am still struggling to find my own balance between Atheism and Humanism.
Be your own peace.
Just be good. The world will follow.