A book about Atheism and Death could either be a short, very personal exposition of the subject, with huge emotional appeal but limited practical use, or it could be something much larger and more far-reaching. It’s a rather intimidating subject, and right now I’m not sure which I’m able to undertake.
So again I’m asking for help.
As I relate in the adjacent post First Request, I’d like to know more about how atheists handle the death of loved ones. Not just as ordinary people faced with loss, but as atheists faced with loss.
First, tell me something, anything, about your own experience of dealing with death. Not just as an ordinary person, but specifically as an atheist.
Was the death of your family member or friend a distant one, or an immediate one? Meaning: Were you right there when he/she died? Or did you only hear about it after, or from some remove?
What was your internal “journey” before and after the death? How did you react to it, what did you learn from it? What, if anything, was the good that came out of it?
How did you/do you relate to your religious families? What do you as an atheist do to honor or remember the deceased? How do you handle the little religious-cultural traps you find in your own mind, say the sneaky little Sunday-school-installed thoughts that insist Uncle Bob is still out there somewhere, and that you’ll see him someday?
Second: Is how we atheists deal with death superior to how godders deal with it? And how and why do you think it is? (I’m thinking here of both the interior/individual effects, but also of larger socio-cultural effects.)
Third: Do you have any other thoughts, anything at all related to the subject, that you think should be covered in a book on the subject?
If it’s too painful/personal to post here, you can email replies to me at hankfox1 [at] gmail [dot] com.
[Fair warning: Some of the replies I might slot in as separate blog posts. Tell me if you’d rather not have your reply posted, or at least not have your FTB blogging name attached.]