How Atheists Handle Death: Holiday Edition

Was sitting around the table eating a delicious, godless holiday meal with my loving, godless family when my mother noted that the place mats were made by my late grandmother.  I then mentioned that I spoke of grandma when I spoke at Grand Valley State in November when I was asked how atheists deal with death.  My father then said, “Asking how we deal with death after finding out there’s no god is like asking how we celebrate Christmas after we find out there’s no Santa Claus: pretty much the same.”

I love my family.

Father rips into Steve Deace on gay rights.
Father's take on the community's reaction to the nativity lawsuit in my hometown.
Father dissects dissenting judge's opinion in Virginia gay marriage case.
The reason for the season.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Aoife

    I love that about the place mats. One of my favourite ways to remember people is through the real, concrete things that they created and made. There’s something wonderful about that kind of evidence that even though they don’t exist anymore, they absolutely did in the past, and here is a thing that shows that the world is not the same as it would have been without them.
    This’ll be my first Christmas without my nan. We’ll be dealing by being sad, and missing her, and spending time with and appreciating the people who are still here, and sometimes having no idea what to do, really. Same as everyone does.

    • papango

      This is our first Christmas without my grandfather, and we’ll be doing pretty much the same thing. He had a habit of sticking his tongue out when he was concentrating on something, and my niece, who is almost two, has it as well (as do most of the rest of us), so we have that visible bit of his genetic legacy.

      • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Aoife

        Oh, things like that are so brilliant! I love the little expressions and habits and characteristics that can be so easily traced through different threads of my family. I love how we carry the patterns that make each other up right there, right in our own selves.

  • Kara

    My nanna passed away ten days before christmas, and I am concentrating on the characteristics, both physcially and in my personality that she is very much responsible for. she is instilled in me, because of our genetic and emotional relationship.

    • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Aoife

      So sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you can find all the love and companionship and support you need to make it a little easier.