My son killed himself at 28. Boy was there a strong need to believe in an afterlife. It was no suprise to me that he did not contact me from the other side to say Mom I'm OK. I realized that it was just a really stong need. I now have some insight why people believe stupid things like religion. Why do so many people not think about the matrix of religion and what is really going on. I think they would feel so silly, that maybe that why they cant admit they were wrong their whole life. Linda

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Maybe you could somehow be listening to your I-pod when the preacher really gets going. LOL Well probably not. Your just going to have to suffer through it. Try not to do any eye rolling. I am sorry to hear about your brother. When my parents died, even though they died of cancer, they both seemed to suffer mentally the most. It was a very sad story. But that was a long time ago. I didn't have a good relationship with them. So I haven't suffered from their passing like a lot of people do. I did and do feel guilty about that. O well. Linda
Linda, sorry to hear about your son, I know what that yearning for comfort feels like. When I've lost people close to me I've temporarily envied those around me who took comfort in their faith. The death of my mum cured me of that because I know there is no comfort to be had, except that she is no longer suffering the way she had been. If I were you that is how I would deal with your son's death.

To consider suicide as the only option means that a person is in great mental anguish and much as we don't want to lose people, we wouldn't want them to live that tormented either. A cousin of mine killed himself several years ago and he was 28 too. He was pathologically religious though (exacerbated by his unmedicated schizophrenia) and looked to his church and it's practitioners for solace, clearly it never arrived. His family are more devout now than they were then - puzzling indeed.

For me the pain we feel on losing somebody is an indicator of how much we loved them. That pain can be so difficult people will latch on to any panacea that could ease it - hence the afterlife. I choose to celebrate who that person was and what they meant to me and those around them - that's eternal life in my book. Celebrate your son and his accomplishments, talk about him and remind people of who he was - let that be his eternal legacy.
I'm sorry for your loss.

I thought I might want to avoid this particular thread because of the difficult emotions I went through when dealing with this myself but I think it may be helpful for me to go through it again and insightful to others who might read it.

I was a conservative Catholic. I have four relatives in the Catholic clergy, one Jesuit Priest and three aunts who are Sisters. The only non-religious relative within three previous generations of me was my grandfather who died 21 years before I was born, after having survived World War I and World War II. I lived 19 years under the pretense of a heaven and a loving God and eternal life even after death. I had no fear of what was to come because I knew that heaven and God and more time than I would ever need awaited me.

Then I became an atheist. In a process too long to tell here, I gave up 19 years of faith. I let go of my soul. For the first two weeks after I had concluded that there was no God, living was like trying to relearn how to breathe. For almost two weeks I did not leave my room, I did not go to school, I missed an exam, I cut off all connection with the world. I was terrified. Death had always been inescapable, but when I understood it, I wanted to badly to believe again. For the first few months I convinced myself that there must be a God, but a deistic one; one who had a heaven waiting for the good, where I would be able to meet the loved ones who passed. But that thought very quickly became untenable as well.

For some time I bought into the concept of the soul surviving as part of the First Law of Thermodynamics, but after understanding more of chemistry and biology I understood how silly and outright wrong that concept was.

The dualism of the soul and the body was nonsensical, when the biochemical reactions of my body end so will I, and so will any pretense of a soul contained therein.

Very slowly I let it all go; no God or gods, no heaven, no hell, only nothing. It was a terrifying prospect. There was no more cloud kingdom in the sky, only the cold embrace of oblivion. After the moment of death, there was not even blackness or darkness. Whether or not I wanted to believe had no bearing on what was coming and what was coming was total obliteration.

I understood and have since accepted that death is coming; in a race against time that we are all doomed to lose, death is always catching up. There is nothing that can be done to beat it, only pushing the distance between us and it. Because of this, I have since resolved that death is not something I need to fear, it is coming and it will catch me, but when it does I will blissfully unaware of its arrival and my passing. There is no need for me to fear something whose eventuality is certain and whose duration will be comparatively short and whose consequences I will never know. There is no need to waste time worried about it when there is so much in life to be done and experienced and known.

In a way I'm glad I dealt with death while I'm young. It opens up the rest of my life to live as much as I can without wasting a moment in fear of its end. Perhaps God and the Church were a fair enough crutch when death bore down at me, but I now run without it. I know that death is behind me, but that's alright. My only hope is that I will have done enough in my life that people will mourn the moment when death passes me and that they will celebrate the fight I put into the race we are all bound to lose.

I know that death will win this race, but I run on.




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