Comfort in atheism?


Worst week of my life… and I’ve had some doozies in the past.

My young adult daughter was killed in a car accident. Her death was quite probably instantaneous- she may not have even seen the other car coming in time for it to register. The loss of my beloved daughter hurts- as it should.

This, of course, brought out the religious crazies, with their “god’s plan”, “god knows your time”, etc. Not actually helpful.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate those who say they are praying for me. In a situation like this, no one can fix it. I see prayer as a desperate attempt to grasp at straws when you can’t actually do anything. I accept what they offer in the spirit in which it is offered. What else can I do?

But, surprisingly, my absence of faith in superstitious things has brought me some comfort.

Unlike religious people, there’s never the fear she’s burning in Hell. I don’t have to question why god would allow such a thing to happen. I don’t even have a reason to get angry at god. Things happen.

I know her suffering is over. She’s not thinking of me, or watching over me. She’s just gone. To her… there is no more her. Just as it was at the Big Bang, and so it will be when the last proton that was once a part of her body decays in trillions of years. She is no more. Period.

Someday I will be the same.

That’s not to say I don’t have memories of her. And pictures and videos and gifts she gave me. I have those things, and I treasure them. I still love her, and always will.

I also cry because she’s gone. I will miss her all the rest of my life. I feel insecure about life, and suffering. I hurt along with the Christians in my family. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.

But to say that Christians are somehow saved some of the grief atheists are doomed to suffer is ridiculous. They may (or may not) hide it better- and that varies by individual- but I’ve never seen a consistent difference.

One Response to “Comfort in atheism?”

  1. squarepeggeen Says:

    Peg, what a horrible loss, and I’m sorry well-meaning (?) religionists are making it even a little bit harder.

    I agree that there’s great comfort in atheism and less in religion. When I was a Christian, I got no “comfort” from heaven, knowing hell was the much more likely destination. Judgmental bastard, the biblegod.

    And you can’t tell me that even the most smug, certain hell-believing Christian doesn’t at least have some fear that his loved ones will have a secret sin on their consciences at the moment of death and get god’s worst.

    Terrible thing to happen to your daughter and all who loved her, but much more comforting to know she’s simply gone than that she might be suffering irredeemably.

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