Tag Archives: atheism

an attitude to death

A couple of readers have question my attitude to death in the wake of recent posts. It is a simple one; we are going to die and we know that it will come to us at some point, so why not just accept it as being a truth and get on with living?

I first encountered death aged about 13. My grandparents were all long gone and the first body that I saw was not anyone that I knew, but there they were. Within months I tripped over the grim reaper again when I witnessed a road accident and one of the victims died despite the efforts of myself and others to save them. Since then I have seen others die in accidents, lost both parents and other relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintences to a point where I have lost count. Maybe that toll has hardened me, but I think that it may be more that I have become used to death. It hasn’t diminished in its impact, but I have learned to cope perhaps?

My own end will come some day. I have come close more than once and realised some years back that, whilst I enjoy experienceing things in life, the last experience that I will have is that of dying. On that basis, when it comes, I will do my best to enjoy that too.

My belief is that when you die you are dead. There is no afterlife in my world, no heaven or hell, it’s just over and I will be gone. And so I will make the best of what time I have here, trying not to abuse the world around me and its many life forms and helping where I can.

Our time to go is our time to go. It may seem too early to others (or too late to some), but it is our time.Do I get angry over some deaths? Yes I do, and when I do I try to do what I can to speak out, but not to rant because you can’t undo death so why waste the effort? Instead I would rather use reasoned argument to try and change things so that there is less risk for the future.

As for emotional response to death, if you want to wail and nash your teeth over it then that is your choice. I choose to honour the dead my way.


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an atheist’s thoughts on life, death and Easter

Two ladies I know have died suddenly within a 36 hour period this week: My former mother in law passed away after a short illness on Tuesday and then a friend of my own age died suddenly yesterday, barely 24 hours after we had left her smiling and content in hospital.

We all know that death will come eventually, and, for both of the ladies, those around them knew that their days were numbered in months in all probability, but the news still comes as a shock.

I have  no religious belief, but many of the bible stories that I learned as a child still convey a sense of truth in their telling. Easter carries messages of death and resurrection and, as I reflect on the passing of these two ladies, I cannot be overly sad that they are gone because they are at peace and are beyond the deterioration and decline that faced them. I think instead of the good memories that I have of having known them and of approaching whatever time I have left here with renewed intent to do good things and make the best of that time.

Losing someone who you know is always hard, but those left behind have their own lives to lead, and better to make good use of them than to mope and moan. Instead honour the memory of those who have gone by using your own lives well.

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