Ask Richard: My Mom Is Dying. Should I Lie to My Kids About Death?

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy.

I do not believe in God — any god. I strive to be a good atheist and person by setting an example of decency to all and service to my community. The whole “good without god” thing.

In raising my 6 and 7 year old sons, I’ve always responded to the rare god/heaven/religion questions with “That’s what some people believe, but lots of people including me don’t.” That’s always felt like a clever answer, and been easy in the abstract, and I pride myself on not lying to or indoctrinating them with bogus beliefs I don’t share.

But my mom is dying…soon. She’s been given “weeks to months” to live. I’ve got my own grieving to do, but better and lesser people than me have gotten through it, and so will I. (said through tears, lest you think I’m a cold-hearted bastard) She’s religious (LDS) and completely confident she’s queued up for an afterlife, but I see it as saying goodbye forever. (yes, she’ll live on in our memories and how we honor her with service, etc., but still…dead is gone, it’s not the same.) I’m already planning on shrugging my way through the countless “she’s in a better place” references, but what about my boys for whom the question/statement will guide their impressions of what happened to grandma?

Facing this very real situation I find myself debating the advantages/drawbacks of letting them believe the myth that grandma’s looking down on them from heaven to help them cope/grieve. I sure won’t be the one telling them that, but they’re gonna hear it from left and right, and when they ask me about it I think I’m going to bite my tongue and say something “Yup!” or more likely something less certain that still doesn’t amount to outright rejection. “I dunno buddy, maybe, I sure hope so!” I’m thinking of it like Santa Claus and the stockings — a short term lie/myth that I ignore/perpetuate until they’re old enough to consider the facts/faith and decide for themselves how they want to think about their grandmother.

Net-net, I want to be a good parent and do what I can to make the loss of their grandmother as easy as possible for my boys, but I also want to stand by my beliefs, even as they are put to the test.

Any advice?

Thanks,
- Neil

Dear Neil,

Firstly, please accept my heartfelt wishes for your mother’s comfort in her illness and for your comfort in your grief.

Secondly, you’re an excellent father because you’re giving your sons respect, and you’re demonstrating integrity. You’re clearly not a “cold-hearted bastard,” and you don’t have to choose between that extreme or the other extreme of supporting feel-good fairytales. I think you should continue to be consistently honest with your boys even now when it might be tempting to “kid” your kids. This is where respect and integrity will be the most important; when it is about real people and events, and not just in the abstract.

The most precious gift you are giving them, the most important role you are playing as a parent is being the man who always tells them the truth as he sees it. As small children, they naturally come to you for answers to their questions. But as they grow, they will continue to come to you only if you consistently demonstrate for them the difference between truth and honesty.

Too often, people who fancy that they possess the truth, especially when they spell it with a capital “T”, lose track of being honest. With your sons, you are being honest about what you’re sure of, honest about what you think might be so, and honest about what you just don’t know. If they imitate and adopt that kind of integrity, it will serve them well their whole lives. Don’t discard that in a futile attempt to spare them sadness.

Sadness is an important and inevitable part of life, and trying in vain to “protect” them from it with fantasies will only cause problems later. It does not “help them to cope and grieve,” it only postpones their coping and grieving until they are not as good at learning to cope with feelings, and they’re better practiced at avoiding feelings.

At each stage of their development, children become more capable of understanding concepts such as death, and their emotions will be equal to their current level of understanding. At the age of your two sons, most children have just begun to realize that dead things don’t come back, but it is still mostly abstract and distant when applied to themselves and other people. So children feel a child’s level of grief, and adults feel an adult’s level of grief. Supported by your caring attention, they are not likely to be devastated by their feelings.

So instead of trying to protect them from their feelings, provide them reassurance that they do not have to endure their feelings alone. The most injurious experience of childhood is not sadness and grief; it is abandonment or the threat of abandonment, being left to cope on their own. Don’t worry, refraining from confirming the reassuring stories they may hear from their relatives does not have to mean coldly abandoning them to emotionally fend for themselves. Instead, it is respecting and validating the reality of their emotions, and reaffirming that you are there to walk through it all with them in the here and now.

Comfort them with your company instead of with wishful thinking. Be an open ear to their feelings, but also respect their need to quietly brood for a while. Also just as importantly, let them comfort you if they wish. Helping to soothe someone soothes the helper as well.

Your sons will not just be listening to your words, they will also be watching your reactions to the events playing out. Even though they will have their own level of feelings, they will be learning how to handle their feelings in the future by watching how you handle yours. Do not try to hide your sadness from them, afraid that you will be adding to their burden. Let them see that it is not only okay to express feelings, it’s important, and that doing so in the company of your loved ones is the best way. As the old proverb says, “A grief shared is half a grief, and a joy shared is twice a joy.”

The time during and shortly after the memorial service or funeral will be hectic and filled with people with all sorts of beliefs. Some of them will not stop for a moment to consider what your wishes might be when they express their beliefs to your boys. So it might be helpful to prepare your boys shortly ahead of time. Let them know that some people will probably tell them that “Grandma’s in a better place,” or that “You’ll all be together again in heaven,” and similar things.

Tell them that this is how many people help themselves feel better, and they’re trying to help the boys feel better too. Encourage them to ask you about such things just as they have in the past. Let your basic honest response be as you have consistently done: “Well buddy, lots of folks believe that stuff, and lots of folks do not. I don’t, but nobody really knows. What I do know for certain is that I miss her a lot and I love you a lot.” Then offer them those things you mentioned about remembering her and honoring her by copying the best of her example.

Neil, as you said, you have your own grieving to do. Be sure to attend to your own grief with as much permission and latitude as you give to your children. Don’t let the idea of protecting them from grief actually be an attempt to vicariously protect yourself from your own, and don’t distract yourself from your own feelings by focusing exclusively on theirs.

Grief comes in waves. Large and rapid at first, gradually diminishing in intensity, length and frequency. Whenever one comes on, stop whatever you’re doing and let it have its say in your mind without distraction or interference. Express your feelings just as they are, and in its time the wave will pass. Just as you have done for your kids, give yourself the company of loving adults, and give yourself some time alone as well.

I strongly recommend that you buy and keep two excellent books by Dale McGowan, Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers. Both have very insightful and practical chapters on talking to children about death. Read those chapters, and after this difficult time has passed, read the rest of both books.

Wherever and whenever you learn a good thing to do for your children, remember it also applies to you. You’re already doing a very good job nurturing your boys, and you can expand that same wisdom to include nurturing yourself.

Richard

You may send your questions for Richard to AskRichard. Please keep your letters concise. They may be edited. There is a very large number of letters. I am sorry if I am unable to respond in a timely manner.

About Richard Wade

Richard Wade is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in California.

  • Jessica

    I’m an atheist that recently had to deal with my 4 and 5 year old regarding the death of their grandmother. It was probably easier for me because they have never been exposed to any idea of an after life. They have no concept of heaven and hell. It was difficult, it’s been a year and my 4 year old still brings it up. We were actually living with her when she passed away. Don’t lie to them. My children know that grandma is dead and that means they’ll never see her again. She is buried in the ground and that’s it. They won’t have to grieve later when they find out something different. It’s better that way.

    • Chandi bliss

      My mom has been given 4 moths or so to live …that was 6 weeks ago….every attempt i made to visit her since her diagnosis has been canceled and now her husband hasnt ket me talk to her in a week…im scared sad and confused….i may not ever see ger again if i dont just show up there its 4 hours away but i dont care i just want to give her a hug…..we are native american and my mom beleives in reincarnation….i dont but this makes her feel better she regrets most of her life and hopes she gets it right in the next life…..hey neil are you single? I like rhe way you think
      ! What should i do?

  • Ibis

    I was eight when my father died, so I know what it’s like to lose someone when you’re young. This is a great answer, Richard.

    Kids don’t need lies about important things at any age. Santa Claus is not a good comparison because there’s nothing deep and emotional invested in the myth. It’s playing rather than lying.

    A couple of things I’d like to discuss about my own experience: a lot of people dismissed my reaction as a lack of understanding of what was going on. This was frustrating because completely untrue. I knew my father was dead, I knew I’d never see him again.* I didn’t wail or cry about it (very much) though. Instead, I wanted to be alone for a while at first. Then, I wanted compassion for my loss. I needed extra attention. This was very difficult for my family to give, since they were all grieving themselves.

    Probably, the most lasting childhood effect it had was that I was afraid that my mother or siblings would be next. So be sure to give reassurance about your presence. If you’re going to be late unexpectedly, make sure your kids know. If you have to go to the doctor’s, tell them (in general terms) what for, so they don’t imagine that you’re sick and dying too. When you leave them, be sure to take the time to say goodbye or goodnight or whatever. At least you have the opportunity for them to say goodbye to grandma, and I suggest that you take that opportunity (even if you have to warn them that she’ll likely talk about seeing them again in the afterlife).

    *The part I didn’t comprehend was just the magnitude of how long that ‘never’ would be. I.e. At the time it happened, I didn’t think “oh, he’ll never be here to see me graduate from high school or give the third degree to my first boyfriend or give me away or be a grandfather” like an older child or adult would have. With a grandparent, I doubt this will even be a problem later.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Richard gives really good advice. I would advice to talk to your kids and let them know that their grandmother will live on in the memory of all that knew her. She also has helped sculpt all that she has ever known so she lives on in that way too. I would also add that you don’t believe in an afterlife that is other than the “living on” of which you just described.

    Just be compassionate, sincere, and completely honest.

  • http://www.plan9studios.com Plan 9

    Neil,

    Sorry to hear about your mom. I don’t have any advice to give you, other than just to wish you and your family well. Good luck.

  • Heidi

    I’m sorry about your mother, Neil.

    I agree with Richard. She’ll be gone, and no one knows anything beyond that.

    Personally, I don’t find any comfort in the idea that someone I love has gone to a magical cloud land where if I’m very, very obedient and never ask questions, then maybe I can go too. But I guess it sounds nice to some people.

  • Lin

    Good advice.

    My parents tried to calm my sister’s childhood fear of them dying by telling her they were never going to die.
    I have no idea what they thought they were doing.
    She’s never figured out how to cope with the very idea of people dying, and lives with this odd combination of fear of death and woowoo ideas of the afterlife.

  • Claudia

    Excellent advice from Richard, and also from Ibis.

    To Neil, my condolances for your loss. Death is truly the greatest challenge an atheist can face to their integrity, since emotions are so charged and what you know to be the truth seems so cruel compared to the comforting fairytale. Good for you for wanting to combine true integrity with compassion for your children. Both things are lessons that will serve them well.

  • Barbara

    My son asked some tough questions about death and I asked him what he thought happened when someone close die. My aunt had a brain tumor which seriously changed her personality before death, and although my son was only between 8-10 when this happened, he understood that much of who she was had already left us. And he came up with more truth than even I think I could have given him. Children often understand way more than what we think they do when given a chance to explore the idea of death.
    I am truly sorry for your loss. Hold onto everything you learned along the way and she really will still be with you.

  • Frances

    I was eighteen when my father died and I remember how terrible it was when everyone said things like, “He’s in a better place,” or “He’s rejoicing in heaven.” This was the deep South and my family was very religious (my sister and I were the only non-religious people, but nobody else knew about that), so basically everyone who talked to us or sent us a card said that.

    It definitely wasn’t comforting for me, and I don’t really think it helped the religious among us, either. It reminded me of in Steel Magnolias when M’Lynn finally freaks out and yells at Anelle for saying it so much, because of course we would all rather have our loved ones here with us than in heaven, fictional or not.

    I don’t have any advice about Neil’s children, because even though I went to a lot of family funerals at that age, I don’t remember having any questions about death and afterlife.

  • http://claire-chan.livejournal.com/profile Claire Binkley

    Don’t let the idea of protecting them from grief actually be an attempt to vicariously protect yourself from your own, and don’t distract yourself from your own feelings by focusing exclusively on theirs.

    Why not?

  • Brice Gilbert

    It’s cliche, but we are all in this together, so the non-existence of an afterlife shouldn’t ruin anyones day really.

  • “Neil”

    Yes, I’m the Neil who posed the question. Richard, you’re REALLY good at this. My mother has not passed yet, but “weeks to months” has quickly turned to “any day now.” : ( Thanks to you and everybody else for your condolences and excellent advice — it’s more helpful than I imagined it could be, and I’ll be coming back to read this again.

    You touched on some points that have been helpful for me: the notion of displacing my own grief through concern over *their* experience, the importance of being honest with them, and letting them see how I grieve, and even the idea of them helping ME through the process which already happened. I broke down when telling them that Grandma wouldn’t be around any more…they hugged me tight, and my 6 year old reassured me that “babies are born, they get old, they die, and more babies take their place.” Yeah, I got a circle of life reminder from my kindergartner. I credit the parenting! : )

  • Richard Wade

    Claire Binkley, you asked,

    Why not?

    That’s a legitimate question.

    To avoid experiencing a powerful feeling such as grief, or anger, or lust, or fear, is to have that feeling continue living inside of you, working on you in unhealthy ways. It constantly leaks out, tainting your other feelings and negatively affecting your behavior. The energy of any feeling does not go away until you let it have its full say in your mind. Stuffing it down takes even more energy, and it comes at a high cost to your physical and emotional health.

    People often suppress emotions they don’t want to feel in two ways. They use powerful distractions such as work, or sex, or relationships, or gambling, or taking care of others, or dozens of other ways. They do not enjoy the fullest satisfaction from those activities because they’re not doing those things out of joy; their underlying motive is fear of the suppressed feeling. Both the feeling and the fear of the feeling are always there just below the level of their consciousness, and they have to continually escalate the intensity of the activities in order to keep the unwanted feeling away.

    The second most common way is to use alcohol and other drugs to numb the unwanted feeling and to artificially create other feelings to distract their attention. The eventual destruction of the mind, body and relationships, as well as the ultimate failure of this method is sadly well known.

    There are no good or bad feelings, only good or bad things we do about our feelings. Accept and honor them all, letting them “strut and fret their hour upon the stage, and then be heard no more.”

  • http://1person7billion.blogspot.com/ Sonja

    Dear Neil,

    I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are in a very hard position, given that at such a difficult moment there also seems to be a disagreement between your understanding of death, and the understanding held by others in your family. As a parent, you have both the authority and the responsibility to teach your children what you truly believe is right. Stay strong, and don’t listen to what others say when your mother is gone. This is about you and your boys.

    What helped me when I was a kid is that my parents (both Atheists) explained to me that death is a very natural thing. They said that all living beings are born and must die some day, and there’s nothing to be afraid of. But they also said that it is natural to miss our loved ones very much, and we must allow ourselves to fully grieve their loss. So, I was told about the inevitability and finality of death early on (before 1st grade), and even though it was still very painful to deal with loss, it did give me a framework in which to understand why death happens. I didn’t feel lost. The family as a whole shared the grief, and we all cared for each other and for ourselves.

    My parents also said that parents give their children a heartbeat, so even when the parent dies and their heart no longer beats, the child’s heart symbolically continues the parent’s heartbeat. That is why children must go on with their own life, be happy, and take good care of themselves, to honor this gift of life and make the best of it. After all, our parents gave it to us so that we can live and thrive, and being happy and well is the best way to honor the ones we lost.

    As Richard said, sharing the loss and staying connected with each other is crucial, and I believe that children need that support much more than formulaic, abstract explanations (i.e. “a better place”) that unhelpfully avoid confrontation with the finality of death. Children need to know that there is nothing unknown lurking in the shadows, life and death are natural.

    Stay strong, but allow yourself to grieve. It is perfectly all right to share your sorrow with your children, and invite them to express their own sorrow about the loss to you. You are there to assure your sons that happiness will return after grief, and they – by their very existence – will assure you of the same.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    my great grandmother died when i was five. i felt… well, not exactly “nothing” but damn close. but i remember how my grandmom and mom cried and wailed at her hospital bedside. i was like, “what the hell? why are you crying? she died. i get it.” kids are resilient. they get over loss. quickly. they don’t have the burden of the adult consciousness that makes death and loss so hard for grown ups.

    don’t sweat it, Neil. be truthful. it seems to me (forgive me for the presumption) that what actually concerns you more is you, and your emotions and feelings. adults struggle with loss; kids forget about the loss of a more cherished dog or toy less quickly than they do of an elder family member. i’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but as the aunt of 8 little ones, i’m fairly sure this is true.

    be truthful. always. that’s really the only rule. “where did grandma go?” your answer should be “nowhere. she’s like a spent flower, or dead fish. her body will decay, and her mind and person are gone forever. this may be hard and sad for you to accept, my children, but it’s the truth.” that, you should be able to say.

  • Justin

    I recently had a discussion about the death of my grandmother, her great-grandmother, with my four-year old niece. We were both bombarded with various peoples’ opinions of where “old grandma” was; she was “in a better place”, she was “in heaven”, and, from my niece’s mother, “she’s sleeping”.

    My niece and I spend a lot of time playing together, and while talking she brought up old grandma. Then, upon remembering that old grandma was sleeping, she asked me if we could visit old grandma when she wakes up.

    This is somewhat deviating from the letter-writer’s issue, in that the child to whom I was explaining death is not my own, so I have the issue of parental desires with which I must contend, but I attempted to explain it as best I could around that. Fortunately, neither my brother or his girlfriend are religious, so I had an easier time of it.
    I sat her down on my knee, and explained to her that old grandma wasn’t going to be waking up again because she was dead. I asked my niece if she remembered what it was like before she was born. She said she couldn’t. I told her that that was how old grandma was now.

    Children are remarkable in how inquisitive they can be. They rarely ask the convenient, easy to answer questions, and my niece was no different. She immediately asked, through tears, if she was going to die too. I then explained to her that yes, everyone has to die someday, but that she still has a lot of time left. Thankfully she knows how to count rather high, as well as how to do simple math, so I was able to explain to her that old grandma was eighty-seven, and, being only four, that she’s got a great deal of time left.

    It certainly isn’t easy to discuss death with anyone, especially young children,but it is possible to discuss it, honestly, and to alleviate their concerns. Providing them with a comforting cover story will only cause them problems later when they face two conflicting views of reality, and it is especially difficult when the source of those conflicting views is someone whom they love and trust.

  • heironymous

    First of all, my condolences to Neil and his family.
    Richard, your advice is spot on, and you and others have touched on what I feel are the three major concerns about death:

    Number 1 is Where is Grandma now?
    Number 2 is Are you (and Mom etc.) going to die and leave me all alone?
    Number 3 is Am I going to die?
    (A lesser but persistent concern is Does it hurt?)

    I always try and tell my daughter (and son) the truth the best that I can, but I have made the exception for Santa Claus. This unfortunately leads to discussions such as:
    “Where’s George Washington?”
    “He’s dead, sweetheart.”
    “Am I going to die?”
    “Yes, everybody dies, darling.”
    “But not Santa Claus, right?”

    I can picture my little girl trying out for the winter temp jobs at Macy’s and trying to get hired at the North Pole in her struggle to avoid dieing.

    I’m probably the last person who should give advice about death. I’m afraid of the subject and have always had a hard time when leaving my older relatives because I was always afraid this is the “last time I’ll see them.” I still feel the urge to cry thinking about my grandparents who have passed and the ones who are on the verge.

    Good luck, Neil. There are no easy answers. Just try and be true to yourself.

  • Max M

    both my parents made it a principle to never lie to me and i would never have had it any other way. it made it so i could trust them far more than any other person my age i knew of and it has kept my relationship strong with them. maybe they arent the wisest but i can rely on them for honest answers.

    as for losing their grandmother i would just tell them the truth as well. i lost my grand mother about 5 months ago and as much as i miss her and as much as it hurts sometimes i personally feel that to put a smiley face on all of it is to do her and myself a grave injustice.

    the beauty of life is to see it clearly.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Great advice. My mother died of cancer several years ago and my own children were only a little older than “Neil’s” are now. Death is an ending. That doesn’t mean that you have to lose the memory of all the good things that happened in their life. For me an afterlife takes something away from what it means to be alive. It relegates death to a temporary state, like a long nap or a weekend away.

  • Alex

    It may sound a bit weird in the first seconds, but after a while reading through my comment, the point should get clear.

    I recently did read an article that with every breath you breath an atom of Marilyn Monroe. This phrase was used to explain that “every little thing of us” spreads throughout the universe – disregarding if we are alive or dead. To me, if I think about this closer, is much more beautiful than the “gone to heaven and watching from above”.

    So if someone had gone (or has to and I know about it), it is really amazing and soothing to KNOW that this person is always there, around and inside you. With every breath, on your pillow at night, softly covering trees, with every breeze of the wind, in the eyes of your kids, on your hand and so on. Basically everywhere! To me this thought is actually THAT beautiful that it doesn’t need any beliefs because it is simply as it is! True! :)

    Lots of powers and energy to you guys!!!

  • Mihangel apYrs

    Neil
    you have my sympathy, but at least you can say your goodbyes.

    I’d suggest you think about readying your boys now, to allow them to say their goodbyes and for your mother to says hers. I imagine both of you are “protecting” them, but now is the time when they can spend more time with her (if you live close) so she can tell her tales and gentle them to understanding that death is part of life.

    Concerning the questions. This is the big unknowable, and no atheist can prove that there is nothing else. So be honest (“I believe Gran has gone now, but always remember her..”) You wouldn’t be able to fool them if you tried so don’t. And tell them that other people have different beliefs (to prepare them) but say “No-one knows for sure”).

    And be prepared to grieve with them, and let their love help you at times.

    My condolensces: I hope you and your family can spend the last days together, and I hope you can hold your mother’s hand as she dies. That in itself can be a comfort: I found it so

  • http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com James Sweet

    Holy shit, I was reading this thinking, “Man, I’m glad I’m not in that boat…” And then I just realized, oh shit, my mom is also LDS, she is not in great health, and my oldest son will be old enough to ask these sorts of questions in just a couple of years. I could find myself in just that exact boat! Ah crap…

  • LL

    They do not enjoy the fullest satisfaction from those activities because they’re not doing those things out of joy; their underlying motive is fear of the suppressed feeling. Both the feeling and the fear of the feeling are always there just below the level of their consciousness, and they have to continually escalate the intensity of the activities in order to keep the unwanted feeling away.

    Sounds like the very reason why people resort to religion and the “gone-to-a-better-place” explanation for death. They fear pain and uncertainty and become addicted to fantasies.

  • Richard Wade

    LL,
    Yep.

  • Robin

    Just another thought for you. We lost a family member when I was very young, around four-ish. As far as I can tell, some one must have told me something about being in the sky or heaven. Just watch out for how little kids perceive the stories that others may tell them. If you haven’t taught them the whole story, they might interpret as best they can. I spent years afraid of aliens.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/sympathy-101-for-atheists Kylyssa Shay

    Neil, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I commend you on your concern for your children, clearly in all things.

    Richard, I think this is great advice. Honesty and integrity is important in dealing with everyone. Children often miss out on such honesty because people often underestimate their ability to understand it and their right to it.

  • Rita

    I offer my deepest condolences to Neil and his family during this difficult time.

    I was raised by Atheist parents. I was never taken to church, and as a kid I was always told that there is no God, no Heaven… And that church is just a delusion. As a kid, I didn’t ever really think about it. I didn’t really have a solid belief in anything, it just didn’t cross my mind. This never really bothered me until I was about 15 and my grandmother (whom I was very close to) passed away. I was in shock and devastated. That night I did something I never did before. I said a prayer. I prayed to my grandma to give me a sign that she was alright. And I cried myself to sleep.

    The next day I woke up and I was so happy! The sun was beaming into my room, and I felt the strongest, most overwhelming feeling of light and love. I felt like she was right there in my room just throwing a happy party! I was still sad in my heart that she was gone, and I was extremely sad for my grandpa and my dad… But I knew in my heart that she was more than alright! This feeling never left me, either.

    The reason I am saying this is because when I was 15 I made my own choice. Ever since that day I have had a beautiful feeling in my heart of something divine. I honestly feel like I am being ‘looked down upon’ … I can’t explain it, and I can’t prove it… I just know it’s there. I miss my grandparents so, so much… But I don’t feel like they don’t exist anymore… It is a very nice feeling.

    I am not sure if his sons are old enough to grasp death fully… Every kid is different. But I can say from being a kid that dealt with it… Being told that someone you love is gone forever can be absolutely heartbreaking. It can mess you up bad. When my brother died when I was 9, I thought he was gone for good and had to see a councilor BIG TIME. My councilor actually hinted at the afterlife and it helped me get over it. Saying there is an afterlife can seem like a big no-no for an atheist, but I think that sometimes a little white lie (I mean TINY… As in just saying you don’t know if there is an afterlife or not) can save the child a WORLD of grief.

    I know that beliefs are very important. I feel very very strongly about my beliefs as I’m sure Neil does. All I’m saying is that children are so innocent and pure, why put them through months, maybe even years of grief for a parents belief? I know Atheists are appalled that people who are very Christian or very religious are filling their children with lies, but is it worth upholding Atheism to fill them with intense grief? Even after I got over the death of my brother, I still highly doubted an afterlife. That all changed the day after my grandma died, and I am glad that I found my own way.

    I know my story and belief are very very different from what most people on here said or will say… My post may not even be published. Just know that my post is not meant to offend… Just to say that even someone raised as a freethinker can become spiritual, and that even in dark times, children need to keep their innocence, and happiness.

    Best wishes,

  • Mercy Brown

    I’m Mercy brown by name I have a few testimony to share with you all about myself, I was in a relationship with this guy and for 3years and we were about getting married when we both have misunderstanding with each other and he ask me for a divorce and we both agreed and after 4months I head that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. Madurai the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I’m so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need. his email is maduraitemple@yahoo.com.

  • cunegonde amedee

    As much as i would like to advice and give my testimony, typing a long text wouldn’t help me tell the truth better so i would just be strange forward in what i have to say.First love spell are real second if you are to contact any spellcaster be very careful so as not to contact the wrong one as at now the only one i would recommend is Mutton Osun.He helped me with my relationship problem and some other thing i needed to be fixed can really give details here. At a time it was had to trust him cos he kept asking for material i had to pay foras wrong as i was, i thought he was reaping me off my money.Just when i thought to say no more he finished what i had asked him to do for me. I felt humiliated for not trusting him.From me i can say he is real and if you ever contact me have no fear you’re safe with him cos he can fix he longest broken relationship you can see other testimony online if you are skeptical about mine.His contact email godsofosunx@rocketmail. com


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