“Live everyday like you are dying,” were the words my co-worker adjacent to me said to me. It initially caught me off guard and startled me, because I did not know how to react or digest it.
In Christianity, there is alot of comfort in death, there is alot of consolation in the idea that your loved ones are in a better place, and those morally deplorable and despicable ones are not. However for the atheist, the idea of nothing is not always the most comforting thought for everyone.
And in facing this new reality and oncoming death, What I have learned in my opinion that I should not fear what we are all expecting but I should be prepared to embrace it, cause like my coworker said, I should live everyday like I am dying, embracing every moment like it could be last, and every person, like it could be our last good-bye. However coming from that mindset we must face the reality and the present of death as Sam Harris puts it.
As a former believer, living is not really living -it is preparing for your second life after death. So as a Christian you/we might sometimes have a habit of talking and think alot about death, because there is alot of anticipation & anxiety surrounding death. Because of this highly anticipated & expected gift in that in death we will receive a reward for our earthly servitude, eternal life in heaven. Hence in that mindset there is a focus of anxiety surrounding the awaiting of death for the believer, (maybe that’s why it is talked and focused on so much in the church.)
The idea of living & dying emotionally changes when you are no longer a Christian. When you are a Christian, you are living for the purpose and hopes of an afterlife or second life. I tell my wife sometimes, “I’m no longer living for a second life, I’m living for this one.” In that I am no longer in emotional suspense of death, but more fear never living
“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” -Bertolt Brecht, The Mother
Yet in this new mindset I find life much more precious and beautiful. Our life is precious, because we give meaning to death by living. In that I don’t fear dying, but not living.
- Grief Beyond Belief, How Atheist are dealing with Death
- Facing Death
- Grieving as an Atheist
- Our Legacy
- When You Lose Your Faith
- How do Atheist Face Death?
- Hello Death
- An Atheist Perspective on Death
- Sam Harris: Existential Worries and Death
- Grief Beyond Belief
- Sympathy for the Heathen: 5 things to write a grieving atheist
- How Atheist Grieve Presented By National Public Radio (NPR) by way of the friendly atheist blog