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20 January, 2013

NPR Piece on Nonbelievers and Grieving

After my grandmother passed away last year, I remember sitting at her funeral, two women from her church standing up talking about Jesus this, Jesus that for a half an hour after just ten or so minutes spent on my Grandma's life. I wanted to scream. I was angry. Even though my Gram was a religious lady, it was still deeply hurtful to me to watch two people use the event to proselytize and make it about someone else when really, we all were there to honor my incredible Grandma.

I was lucky enough to not have too many people in my life who used the whole, "She's in a better place" thing with me. I don't know how I would have reacted. I really related to this article on NPR the other day that tackles that very topic. Grief has been very different since I stopped believing in an afterlife. A great resource has been Grief Beyond Belief, where people share their stories and strength through their difficult times. I hope, with the growing awareness of the public about nonbelievers, people will stop assuming that those phrases are at all comforting, or at least start asking people first what they believe or don't believe.

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