Dealing with death...as an atheist.
February 19, 2011 10:25 AM Subscribe
How can I help my wife deal with the death of a loved one? I am an atheist and I find it hard.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My wife's uncle just passed away after battling cancer for a good many years. He was in his early 50's and never really had a fulfilling life - divorced from an abusive wife, couldn't have children and suffered many setbacks. My wife wasnt too close to him, but he was a wonderful man and she's taking it very badly. Mostly, she blames herself for not visiting him enough and taking care of him during his last few months. She feels she didn't appreciate him whilst he was around.
My wife always has had a tendency to get pessimistic and depressed. This has got her into a situation where she sees no point in life and feels angry towards God.
I am an atheist. I find it hard to console her by saying the usual "God will take care of things" or "God has a plan" or whatever. And I don't think I shd urge her to think rationally now..she's not that in that state of mind..if that makes sense.
How can I help her? I feel handicapped. I'm wondering if I should step back and let her go through the motions and let her heal on her own. But I'm also fearful that if I'm not there by her side, she'll just spiral deeper into depression.
Being an atheist, I feel a little ill-equipped in this situation. How can I help my wife? I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks.