Grieving Agnostics needing support and friendship

Discussion in 'Life After Caregiving' started by Salgal, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Salgal

    Salgal New Member

    For those of us that feel left out from the general population but who's needs are no different..support, others to relate to and the offer friendship
  2. Sheila512

    Sheila512 Well-Known Member

    I am so sick of hearing that my husband is in a better place. No he's not. His shell is in the ground and his soul is wherever souls go..I hope to a new baby. I will NOT be meeting him again and I do not feel blessed that God called him. I try to be polite to everyone, but it makes me crazy. I need realism to get thought this and I guess I just can't take the giant leap of faith necessary to believe in afterlife. I hope I am wrong and if I am, what a great surprise, but if I am as right as I think I am, I am just no longer afraid of death. I don't want to die now, but it no longer frightens me. I just want to wake up one day and not find that I have been crying in my sleep
    bj58 and Esmirelda like this.
  3. Sara K Hatch

    Sara K Hatch Well-Known Member

    Hi Sheila,
    It has helped me to look at my dear one's photos that we took over the years and remember the wonderful adventures we had. Also watching some very interesting talks about death and dying and acceptance on U-tube Ted Talks. Having a husband who had Parkinson's for so many years must have been so stressful for both of you and has taken a lot out of your life and energy. It's been 8 months since Richard passed and I am beginning just now to feel the full impact and what it means in my life. We are certainly on a new path where we must find our purpose and meaning while taking in the fact that we were caregivers to a dreadful disease like Parkinson's and we saw the decline first hand every single day. That alone has taken a toll on your life and spirit.
    I believe that your friends and/or relatives say things like they do to bring you some kind of comfort. Their intentions are good but if you don't have the same assurance it can do just the opposite. Maybe you could say to them that you want to remember him while he was with you. be certain that it helps to talk about him to whoever will listen. I know you miss him terribly. It's natural to grieve even in your sleep. Be gentle with you and accept that crying is very natural and good.
    Struggling Lady likes this.
  4. Sciguy

    Sciguy Well-Known Member

    I'm sure some people say those things because they honestly believe them. Others are simply trying to comfort you. Still others don't really know what to say, so they rely on those standards. I don't know the details related to your husband. If he was sick or suffering, they he certainly no longer is. Sometimes, things just happen and there is no reason for it. I hope you can find peace in whatever you believe.
  5. Sheila512

    Sheila512 Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for your responses. I know people are trying to be comforting. It has now been 2 years since he left. My love for him will never lessen and I continue to talk to him and about him on a daily basis. My family is used to it and it is what keeps me going. The picture posted is us in 1959 at his high school senior prom.....
  6. Tim

    Tim New Member

    For decades, my late wife and I maintained agnostic beliefs. We both began life in Catholic homes, with the strict, knuckle slapping indoctrination that the Catholic church was the one and only "true" religion. We both were students in the Catholic/Parochial system from 1st grade to high school graduation. But when we "found"
    each other as high school seniors, it became apparent that we were both discouraged by organized/institutional religion. I'm not saying that our discouragement was
    what attracted us, but it was hard to argue that we weren't on the same page. She felt she had been poorly treated as a school girl by a certain order of Nuns. I, on the other hand had been an "alter boy", and witnessed priests in compromising situations.
    In the end, we decided that her funeral visitation would have little, or no religious connections whatsoever. It was still a celebration of her amazing, resilient life. And amazingly, the strict Catholics still in the family kept a low profile throughout.
    Esmirelda likes this.
  7. Tim

    Tim New Member

    She would be happy I'm sure at our choices for charity; Scleroderma Association, Humane Society and Hospice Care.
  8. Sara K Hatch

    Sara K Hatch Well-Known Member

    1. My husband of 46 years and I were/are members of the Baha'i Faith. There is no clergy, no one single person in charge. The administration is run by groups of people on the local, national and international level. Baha'i's consider God to be Unknowable except through his Manifestations like Moses, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad and Baha'u'llah the latest Messenger from God. The faith is all encompassing in that we believe that humanity belongs to the same family of mankind.
    2. My faith is a constant comfort to me but I understand why people are turned off by "religion" these days. I think faith has to do with trust in a Higher Power of our understanding. I also believe that good works have a lot to do with spirituality whether one is a member of a congregation or not. Doing some act of kindness or compassion in your husband's honor is a noble deed.
    edj9 likes this.
  9. Sheila512

    Sheila512 Well-Known Member

    Sara. what a great way to put it....doing an act of kindness is a tribute to your lost love. I did just that recently and it really felt great. In he Jewish faith the highest form of giving is when the giver doesn't know the receiver and the receiver doesn't know the giver, thus an intermediary is necessary. It worked out twice for me so far, and it was an amazing feeling. Thanks.
  10. Sara K Hatch

    Sara K Hatch Well-Known Member

    Sheila, Yes indeed honoring your loved one in acts of kindness is wonderful. On that note: I wonder if you or anyone on this thread has heard of Threshold Choir. It's a group of men and women who gather to sing to those who are ill or dying. 7 of us, 4 in one group and 3 in another go to Hospice House once a week to sing at bedside for those on respect or in transition. Often they are in a coma but we sing to them anyway. The nurses have told us that hearing is one of the last senses to go. Our songs are all without accompaniment, in harmony of a soft, soothing and comforting nature. Often family members are so touched that they shed tears when we are present. It is truly a profound experience for me because it is at such an intimate moment and it brings so much peace. I feel very blessed that I am a member of such a group.
  11. Sara K Hatch

    Sara K Hatch Well-Known Member

    Hi Shelia,
    Yes indeed. that is a super way to honor your husband and what a nice way to serve others.
    Have you heard of Threshold Choir? It is a group of men and women who come together to sing for the ill and dying. Our group here in Bloomington IN rehearse once a week and then some of us go to the local Hospice House to sing to people in respete or transition. We often go into the rooms, surround the person who is there and sing unaccompanied 3 part harmony, soft soothing, comforting songs. Sometimes the person is in a coma but we sing anyway. The nurses have told us that hearing is one of the last senses to go. Often family members are there and embrace us with hugs and tears because they are so grateful that we took the time to sing to their loved one. I feel honored to be in this choir. The members are so kind hearted and selfless in their efforts to make death a bit easier for all. There are well over 200 choirs like this in the US and abroad.
    My husband passed away at this Hospice House 2 years ago. We often visit that room to sing to others who are there. This Dec. 12th, the second anniversary of his passing I was one of the people who sang there. Every time I visit I feel as if I am singing to him and it makes me feel very close to his spirit. I feel honored to be a part of this endeavor.
  12. Sheila512

    Sheila512 Well-Known Member

    I investigated that organization and there is not one near my home. I would be ale to do that and it would be a great gift for me.! Thanks
  13. Esmirelda

    Esmirelda New Member

    I feel like this too.
    You articulated it perfectly.
  14. David Hughes

    David Hughes Well-Known Member

    Have you ever felt like you are alone? It doesn’t matter how many people are around you, because sometimes we all are each lost in our own world and when we might speak the only answer back is the empty echo of our own voice.

    Now that I am coming closer to 5 years since the death of my beloved wife Nadine, I have tried many times to reach out to those I actually know. What I am faced with is the deafening reality of they don’t want to hear my sorrow anymore. So what does a person do? Look in the mirror and talk to myself. Speak to the empty space knowing no one will answer back.

    I am a realist in life. I have always been one who understands sometimes your questions will never get answered. So how do you overcome this stigma of all the pent up emotions that build up over time. I know that tears are a great way of feeling somewhat better, but even after you wipe your eyes, the totality of the situation sets back in.

    I also know that talking to those here at the grief site is an amazing stress reliever. However, sometimes that is just not enough. Meaning, how do you reach those who you still love, to talk?

    What I am finding is that too many have quickly moved on in life, and don’t wish to look back.

    Have you ever heard the phrase, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' (George Santayana-1905)? While this is true, I understand that I can’t put my grief on another person, it is mine, and one that I, and I alone will eventually have to overcome. The Me, Myself and I scenario.

    I am a person who has walked many miles alone in my life. I have learned that the one person who I can be brutally honest with, is myself. I know I can’t answer all my questions, but at least I am a great listener to myself in times of sorrow.

    I also know that getting these thoughts in the front of my mind, helps me face them head on. I won’t kid you it is scary as heck not knowing what to do, but at least I try to face my unknown fear and awful grief that rears its’ ugly head now and then.

    I am so glad that over the course of my life I have built up my wall of resistance due to so many experiences I faced over time. I learned that coping, while enormously hard, helps to quiet the rising anger in me, and not to take my anger out on another person or inanimate object.

    Sure, I won’t kid you, I have lost my temper in life, but I have watched and learned how others dealt with their own anger. My first step was never doing something you can’t take back. Words are one thing, but words coupled with actions are a whole different thing. I am frail, no better than the next person, and by accepting that fact and admitting it is the second step I had to take. My third step was searching how others overcome their grief, their fears and obstacles in life.

    When I was in Vietnam, I was not a better person than the next, and was just as scared of the unknown that I faced each day. I can remember all the talks we had with one another, bearing our feelings and learning from each of them.

    We were all kids, trying to grow into men, and never knowing what tomorrow would bring. So this unknown is what brought each of us together and made us look out for one another.

    That in a nutshell is life. We can’t predict tomorrow, but we can either face it alone or with others. I also know that there were times in my life that I had to face what happened alone. I just tried to do the best I could based up all I had learned or how my heart felt I should act. That in essence was it.

    I hope each of you find a way forward in life, while dealing with your grief. It won’t be easy, but your life, my life are still very much important. Please take care, watch your health, and try not to give in to despair. If you are feeling lonely, please reach out to another.

  15. venson_eric

    venson_eric Member

    I can understand how you feel you feel angry and frustrated that I understand I lost my mother last month on the 23rd having a lot of thoughts going through my mind but meditation staying to yourself quiet no TV just peace and quiet and meditation what help you get through very much because I know you probably don't want to hear this there's a higher power for all of us may God be with you bless you
  16. edj9

    edj9 Well-Known Member

    I have never been religious, and I became agnostic very early on, I just never knew there was a term for it until later. But I always struggled with whether I was at all spiritual. What did that mean? After my husband died, it was like a flip got switched and I now recognize the experience as a very spiritual one, painful as it was. This is not to say I believe in god. I certainly hope that the Christian god is NOT the answer. But the more I learn about physics, the more genuinely agnostic, and paradoxically, spiritual, I become. Atoms are very thin shells surrounding inconceivably tiny nuclei. And the particles that make those shells and nuclei aren’t even particles. No one knows what they are, just what they seem to do. So 99.9999% of every so-called solid thing we see and feel is space, punctuated by some minuscule phenomena which make up what we think of as matter. And even the nature of space is debatable. Just because it’s empty of physical matter doesn’t mean it’s devoid of characteristics. Apparently it may have a fabric that we can’t detect except for the fact that the universe is mysteriously expanding rather than imploding.

    tl; dr: I don’t know what happens to our consciousnesses when we die, but there’s nothing wrong with hoping that it continues in one form or another, and that when we are released from THIS existence, we move on to another, or that our consciousnesses somehow diffuse and merge with the cosmic flow. I said “hoping”. I’m not trying to convince anyone that it’s the truth, or that I even BELIEVE it. But if the hope sustains me until I die, that’s enough, because by the time I find out whether my hopes and reality coincide, it’ll be too late for it to matter. So when I talk to Chuck, or my mom, or my cat, I always end with, “Love you. Hope to see you again.”
  17. Debster2020

    Debster2020 New Member

    I feel this so much! My dad just died the end of June and I am a mess. Covid is making everything so much harder, but I am dealing with all these people saying he is in a better place and some say that my stepmother is waiting for him with open arms. My dad wasn't very religious either and my stepmother was crazy and I doubt, if there is an afterlife, that they are together. My dad and me were super close and he was 73. I miss him so much and I just feel like I haven't gotten to grieve. Im an only child and my family is scattered everywhere around the country and because of covid no one came to see us and I can't have a funeral. Im just so sad and every time someone gives me some religious platitudes I know they mean well, but it annoys me.
    edj9 likes this.