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Dealing with Death

Dealing with Death


When you lose somebody
close to you, let’s say your dad. One of the toughest things
about being an atheist is knowing that you’re the only person who seems
to know you’re not going to see him again. Everyone else talks about
how you’re gonna reunite in heaven, or how he’s looking down
from above. But atheists understand
the finality of death. It’s not that other people aren’t grieving
in the situation. Of course they are. But religious people have this sort of
false hope that they can cling to that helps them deal
with the situation. We don’t have that. And suggesting otherwise
doesn’t help. So can we do anything? We can’t control nature, but we
can control our reaction to it. So, if you lose
someone you love, and you don’t believe
in life after death, here are some ways
you can deal with it: Keep talking about that person. Keep their memories alive. Live out the lessons
they taught you. A physical loss doesn’t mean
the person is gone forever. Rely on your friends
and family for comfort. Personally, I think one of the worst things you could
do following someone’s death is to isolate yourself. You want to surround yourself by friends and family
members who are also equally affected by the loss. See a therapist. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s helpful, really, to have advice
and perspective from a trained professional who’s a little removed
from the situation. Remember, the bad times
aren’t forever. It’s not that you’ll ever get over a permanent loss,
especially not of someone really close to you, but over time,
you’ll be able to move on. I once heard an analogy that I thought was just
perfect when it came to understanding death. It’s like a shipwreck.
And you feel like you’re drowning. And you have no choice
but to float, even though the remains of this wreckage
are all around you. You might see a piece of what’s left floating by you
and you latch onto it whether it’s a memory or an artifact, or even another person
who is also affected by your loss. But whatever you do,
you have to keep floating. Then the waves come. They’re huge. They crash over you
and they show no mercy. The waves never stop. But they do become
less frequent. When they come,
it’s still awful. You can’t escape them. But between them, you keep floating. You keep breathing. Eventually, the waves
get a little smaller. And it gets a little
better between waves. You don’t necessarily
know when they’re coming but you can function
in the meantime. Eventually, the waves
get a lot smaller and more spaced out. And you know when
they’re gonna come: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. You can brace
yourself for them. They’ll never stop coming. But maybe that’s not
such a bad thing. They’re a reminder
of that amazing ship. As Richard Dawkins
once said, “We’re going to die and that makes us
the lucky ones.” Remember, all life is temporary. We don’t know when the shipwreck
is going to happen. But it’s all the more reason to make
the most of the time we have left with the people we choose
to surround ourselves with. My name is Hemant Mehta and I write
at FriendlyAtheist.com Leave a comment below
and we’ll be sure to check it out. And don’t forget
to subscribe.

Comments (100)

  1. I live in America and I have family in Italy. Just before leaving from a vacation in Italy a couple days ago, I had to say good bye to my grandfather, who had and has still been very sick for a while now. I won't be back in Italy for a few years and we said bye there knowing that we would not see each other in person again. 

    It's hard, but I just wanted to say that this video came at a good time.

  2. That was the greatest analogy to death I have ever heard in my life. I have not lost any loved ones as far as I know. But when that time comes, I'll put on this video. 
    Thank you, Hemant.

  3. How do you deal with your own impending doom. My grandpa recently died and I find myself thinking more about my own deal far in the future than his. I have sort of isolated myself and have been thrown back toward religion in hope of a solution. I live in a religious family and go to a Catholic school so its very hard. Right now I stand as an agnostic/deist. Idk if I will ever again truly become an atheist again due to the trauma that I've gone true. Any ideas on how I can deal with this?

  4. dawkins evolution answer is fine. but to me you started sounding like a analytical satanist, something you most likely don't believe in. death to me is only physical, psychological influence after death is true immortality. only those whom have had a purist positive influence in my life will be "immortalized" all others will be DEMONIZED! 

  5. i just have one question i am not religious or anything i never believed in it, but one question i ask myself is, if there is no god or heaven then what is the point of living and going through all this different experiences and learning if we'll never remember it whats the point of dreams of being sucessful in life if at the end you'll  forget it all and it will be like it never happened and the people that remember you will end up dying to and then it would be like i never existed there is no point in anything whats the point of me loving my family when i know that one day ill never remember them or see them again sometimes i get tired of living because is just bullshit and it makes no sense.

  6. Paradise is full of idiots that believe it exists.

  7. Just remember their energy only gets transferred. Their body feeds plants which feeds bugs which can be used to make a baby bird and their energy is there in that bird when it sings sweet songs that fill the air. They can make that tree whose whisper you hear in the wind. Just remember they may be gone but not entirely. Energy transfers and that's all we are. Energized water balloons. 

  8. All you atheists are the same, when you realize you are dying you will be crying out for Jesus to let you into heaven! lol

  9. How to deal with death? EAT. Workout. Play video games, get your mind off that shit

  10. “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” ― Mark Twain

  11. This deals perfectly with how I felt not long ago when I lost a loved one. I love this advice and needed it so badly. Thank you so much for sharing, I will be coming back to watch this as I need it.

  12. I was recently released from the hospital after a week and a half there. I was told I could of died.
    When I was about to be released my mother who came to visit me every day asked me "so do you believe in god now?"
    I smiled and said "no" and said "even if I had a near death experience I still wouldn't believe" which is 100% true. For me the only comfort I have with death is that I won't be conscious to experience it. The idea of living forever in a heaven specially one depicted in the bible [basically you suck the god suck all day, every day.] greatly depresses me.

    Now for those I love and dealing with it. I take comfort in the fact that I remember them and they are absolutely unaware of anything. They are conscious as a rock is conscious, so it's not like they are suffering. Remember the happy times, and keep photos and videos, Since last year I've thought one of my dogs the oldest was dying or was dead. The last time we thought this she was on the bed in I guess a deep sleep because she stopped moving. Took at least 5 minutes for her to move. She's been fine since then. Since she's been having these moments where I think she is dying I've been taking videos. Which were deleted!!!! But I've taken others and I've taken photos as well. I also had a baby bird that died within 5 days…..I was pretty depressed when it died. So I celebrated it's short life by putting it's photo of it standing on my index finger as my wall paper for a few days with an RIP and a date of when I found it and it's death. So that is how I dealt with death. I also went to my great grandmother's funeral where I got to meet all these relatives I had never met before.

  13. death's makes atheist shit

  14. Honestly what helps me is knowing that everyone dies. No one is special enough not to die. So I can't expect that for anyone that I personally know. I'm just glad that I have people in my life that will make me grieve when their presence is gone. 

  15. I am 62 years old and never been religious my whole life. My Father is still around and a jovial, intelligent 85. He has become, or maybe always was non-religious and encompasses the grand, epic and magnificent size of the universe (s). I am happy that when his time comes, he understands the finality of life and how it really is. If he was a religious person, I would also be happy for him as he would believe he is going somewhere else and only death would prove otherwise and then its too late anyway.

  16. I think it's possible that life would eventually live again after death. Remember eternity is a very very long time, a lot can happen. Who is to say when the universe dies that another Universe doesn't come to be in a very long expanse of time? Who is to say that you wouldn't eventually live again? Even if it would be trillions upon trillions of years.

    Or who is to say that reincarnation is false? It's the oldest death belief and doesn't require a deity to be reasonable and it inspires people to leave the world better off then when it was when they were born.

  17. Logical,rational and well presented.
    We are all going to die,so live your time, with strength, dignity and compassion.
    The dead are gone and should be honored by passing their memories on,not believing they are peeking through the clouds,no matter how comforting that may seem it is simply fantasy.
    Living your life by some ancient dogma /medieval enforced fairytale really will not help the progression of our species.
    And that is what we really should be aiming for,a better world for our grand children's grandchildren.

  18. I actually don't agree entirely with this. Individual people deal with death differently. One of my friends died on New Years eve, in his sleep, from natural causes. He was 27 years old, which seems an absurd age to die from natural causes. And the only thing I could really feel was the meaninglessness and absurdity of it all. But all of life is an absurdity to begin with, and the juxtaposition between what is actually real and what we feel and experience as real is a very large gap. When we live we feel like we are immortal, until the shade of mortality gives us a wake-up call.

  19. We must not forget that we are ships to others too. 

  20. "I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” -Banksy

    This has been of value to me. But also – this finality of death is comforting to me. 

  21. There are so many holes in this guy's position on the topic, but it's pointless to type out responses to his claims on YouTube.

  22. How can you possibly know whether there is or isn't life after death? Talk about absolutism and presumption.

  23. If ones does not believe in a higher power then why not commit suicide? There is no hope. But we all want hope. Do you love your wife, daughter, etc.. There is no way to prove to anyone that one truly loves someone but love is real. I doubt there will ever be concrete evidence of God but when we have a little faith and a little hope, that's when hope reveals itself to us.

  24. Could I ask you to keep Christianity/Judaism separate from religion itself please and thank you. 

  25. Eventually all must fade, this is reality.

  26. I am a Christian and I HATE the way some atheists are treated.

    Here is my advice when it comes to death…

    What I advise you to do is to simply think.

    I think it would be wise to simply surrender yourself to a higher power. It doesn't have to be supernatural either. It could be whatever you want it to be. You just need to realize that there is a reason for you to be put on this Earth. There is someone who cares for you.

    In fact, I do

    Pls contact if you have any questions

  27. Question here for atheists… 
    If death is the end and you're sure about that.
     Then what about people who, were killed when they were young?
    Children who never had a chance to live, like we have?
    No other species, is capable of the good and evil, that humans are.
     So I see more to this, that what we see everyday..
     Telling me what death is like, is the same as telling someone what Paris is like, but you've never been there….
    Thoughts? 

  28. Just lost my aunt but I have no idea what to think what should I do I'm only 13

  29. I really wish we knew what happens to the self-consciousness when the body dies, but until we discover a way of re spawning, i doubt that will ever happen.

  30. I  have a question, How do I console others (theists) about death of difficult situations,  it is hard to do so. I know of a case of a parent whose daughter  got pregnant at 15, and understandingly so the parent was devastated, what can any of you (atheist ) suggest?

  31. Thank you I just lost my grandfather and this has helped me

  32. i will never see my dog again
    i never got to say goodbye 
    i was only 2yrs old

  33. There's no such thing as a happy elderly atheist!

  34. I am a christian and I am completely unaffected by death because I really don't fucking care if people die because I will see them again or I won't and all of existence is nonexistence.

  35. You'll see God after death and will be damned in the blazing torturous hell for eternity. It'll be a nightmare.

  36. who is this idiot to judge YAH

  37. Thank you so much for posting this video. It's really helping me deal with the loss of my grandmother.

  38. I'm so worried about death. I'm 17 and I'm so scared knowing that I'm going to die and that will be it. Thank you for helping me. I think I'm starting to move on with my life. Thank you so much.

  39. Just lost someone close and this really helped. Thank you Mr. Mehta.

  40. This is the source of the shipwreck analogy https://www.reddit.com/r/Assistance/comments/hax0t/my_friend_just_died_i_dont_know_what_to_do/c1u0rx2

  41. MY worst fear is that when my mother dies or my brother that I will not be able to handle it and my heart is going to be killed by it. I feel like he hurt will be so much my heart and body cannot take it.

  42. After losing my fiancée I was broken, she died so suddenly I couldn't process it in any healthy means so I started twisting science to take place of religion by thinking that the quantum entanglement of information after the destruction of mass would save her molecular information since I read a Stephen Hawkins article around that same time and it helped me believe that she wasn't gone and I wasn't alone… then some time passed and I got really depressed and turned to opiates to function… and after a rough realization I came to the conclusion that she's still alive in my mind and that's all that matters

  43. this is what exactly happened to me..my father died from cancer last year, i am an atheist and i am trying to handle this as much as i can..I know I wont see him again… I am just greatful i lived with him 16 years of my life..and I am glad he was an amazing person and father to me..I miss him so much..

  44. Satan applauds you. One day you will meet him.

  45. Man you guys are getting a lot of support from Christians, it's almost like someone is trying to give you a life preserver to your sinking ship analogy,
    Seriously though get angry, God doesn't mind, anything to smash your ego
    I'd rather see you in heaven then hear about your journey to hell

  46. I'm not an athiest but this video helped me so much. Thank you

  47. My whole life I have been an atheist but I really just gave up on religion openly about 6 months ago, and it has been really hard, I am only 14 but I can't think about anything but death and when my family members die, my dog my best friend died of cancer on January 2, it's all I can think about, just knowing I'll never get to see him again and he died with my arm around him as I slept next to him, I seem to be the only one still affected by his death, I still cry at night while everyone moves on. I don't understand…

  48. Im sad if my mom and dad Will die D:

  49. Im a kid sending this

  50. My dad is still in the toilet

  51. I'm at work today and it was the worst day of the year before the apocalypse stopped we died and God buried us alive now where kids again

  52. I lost my great grandma. I didn't really know her but my mother was raised by her and always had stories of their hard times with not enough money and how she always provided what little she had. Ever since we moved to Australia the one thing I regret is not knowing her and not being able to send her anything. It's said to think that she's gone forever but I'll try to remember what little memory I have of her. She died March 1, 30 days from my birthday :(. But RIP I will remember your time on this earth and whenever it is March 1 I will think of you.

  53. this might sound silly.. but I just lost my pet guinea pig. he died in my arms and I couldn't stop crying.. he was so skinny. he struggled so hard to breathe. I predicted that he was going to die. but I didn't think It would happen tonight..
    the whole thing just reminded me of the finality of death..
    knowing that there is no afterlife, it made it hard to say goodbye to him. but that analogy. really helps more than anything. so thank you so much. my piggy will be missed..

  54. more and more I am finding I believe less and less. I feel like nothing means anything anymore. Love is an illusion, life is pointless, just nothing matters. And now not even thinking my grandparents are watching over me….that they are just buried beneath dirt….that this story does not have a happy ending…and that I was born into a world of shit….I don't think some of you realize the negative sides for people who have specific issues in their lives that only had their religion left to keep them going. I should just end it and say fuck it because being this depressed fucking sucks.

  55. I really appreciate your video I don't really know what I believe in and I am not rooting for any particular side however I have had so much loss in my life that I actually need to re-learn how to function as a human being not to make anything to personal but every single person I had ever loved or cared about is dead all my brothers have died my father my friends and there is only a few people left and one of them just recently left thee only thing I can truly know for myself is that I am stranger to a world that has become most distant I know that sometimes my wife worries about me and I am trying my best just to push forward but I find it very hard sometimes to cope with all that's happened so far and I can never really talk to anyone because there is really no one left so each and every single day I wake up get ready and just go to work and just train and teach very hard I have slowly come to the realization that I have never dealt with the harsh reality of my life and that i have always just kept myself busy I am usually that quiet stranger with ear buds in and zoning the world out with music and after one of the very few friends I had left had died I figured I would just find a way I can cope or learn about grief or how to manage these overwhelming emotions I have repressed for so long so I looked up anything I could on the interweb and found this video so I just wanted to say thank you for some of your insight please forgive me if I have said to much about myself I hardly ever speak to people let alone air any of my personal problems on any type of social media

  56. why people believe in heaven…because they think there is something more to life

  57. this guy atheist?

  58. I don't talk about dead people with no purpose. They don't exist anymore and that's all what death means. And I never had problems with dealing with it.

  59. I have another way with the grieving of death. If a loved one passes, they are physically bound to be around you, and mentally around you. Before you say "He is jus going to provide a religion to us.", I mean as they break apart and they give nutrition to the plants if buried. They are basically around us (maybe in a grave yard) in trees, grass, and etc. I don't really know how do break it down but, you'll understand what I'm saying.

  60. But how to deal with your own death?

  61. My father died of AIDS. It's so sad his life was horrible.

  62. 2015 was such a shit year for me. One of my grandparents died, then my rabbit who was 8 who I still have a picture of under a blanket the day before his death looking so happy and then one of my friends committed suicide. I'm coping fine with it now but at first I used to get angry. I talked to my parents about it and gave them a hug. They told me to write about all the good times and now when I'm down I go and read through them.

  63. You must pass on your genes.

  64. Having my first big loss since I became a atheist 9 years ago. It is harder than I thought it would be.

  65. Not True !! Lol, if he died as an atheist and the his relatives were Christians they wouldn't expect to see him again.

    And there's a BIG ATHEIST MYTH that all religious people are scared of death. Martin Luther king Jr. got so many death threats but kept continuing his work. Ghandi knew people hated what he was doing, and so forth. I could give many examples, but you must appreciate the Ghandi example because I believed I saw this poster endorsing Hinduism somewhere, and no, I'm not making it up.

  66. my dad my mom my grandmother. and my husband and brother trying to. cope with it all i need greef counseling

  67. thank you for your video. When my loved one died in the hospital, it was a dealbreaker with God, I gradually stop believing in Christianity and just find myself in a dilemma of finding out what's the truth really – in an existential crisis, about whether there is a God or if my loved one will be in hell or purgatory, or has been reborn. I really don't know at this point still, 3 years after the loss. I loved the analogy of the shipwreck. Something that has helped me with my grief was the notion of energy. I read somewhere that energy is never lost or destroyed, rather it's transformed. So while my loved one is no longer consciously here, her energy was transformed into something else, which means some part of her is still here in some way, not in a way we'd usually comprehend, but not lost or destroyed, which is really comforting to me now as I am no longer religious.

  68. Thank you. So much!

  69. thank you so much for this

  70. Why I don't believe in an afterlife. We are all a small speck in a large time frame. This planet has been here for millions of years, and humans have only populated the Earth for a slim amount. We are the only animals who think of an after life. There is the saying "all dogs go to heaven," but the truth is, a dog (and all other animals) don't even know what heaven is. Humans' brains have evolved, which is why we are the only species to propose complex questions such as "where do we go when we die?" & "why are we here?" Religion provides answers to those questions. The true foundation of life is food, shelter, & reproduction. If civilization ever fell, those who possess those 3 things will be the ones who will survive, while those who put their faith in God die. There are 7 billion people alive on this Earth & billions of others who have died. To think that you are special & belong in the clouds chilling with Jesus is ridiculous and that idea is plaguing technological growth.

  71. The only thing I don't like about this guy is
    that he makes atheism seem like it's an absolute truth when in reality it's not it's just a belief

  72. Just got the news; a friend of mine died. We're both Atheist. I think he was the only other Atheist I knew. Pretty much crying every 5 minutes…

  73. I have a question for you mr. Mehta, if you are in a crushed-car accident and breathing your last, wouldn't you cry out to Jesus?

  74. god is real.and every knee show bow abd every tounge shall confess be is lord.EVERY KNEE

  75. really need it to hear this 😢

  76. i personally like'd to believe that this universe will begin a new and I will live again but i doubt this but hey man we don't know

  77. Great advise Hemanth, no matter how times i have heard similar lines it still comforts hearing them again.

  78. It's OK to not "believe" in life after death, but you can't conclude that death definitely is final. It's as much as you know, but you don't know everything. Personally, if someone I love dies, I'm not going to say "well they don't exist any more" – I DON'T KNOW that that is true. I don't know if there is an afterlife or not. And what people believe makes no difference to what the reality in fact is.

  79. My dad just committed suicide yesterday and I don't know what to do. 🙁

  80. There is a god. Just saying

  81. Atheism is not simply an intellectual position that exists in a bubble. If its claims are true, then one would have to make some inevitable existential and logical conclusions that are very bleak. Under atheism, life is ludicrous.

    Atheism combined with philosophical naturalism is a recipe for existential disaster. The formula is simple: no God, which includes the associated concepts of Divine accountability, equals no hope, value, purpose, or eternal happiness.

  82. 'A physical loss doesn't mean the person is gone forever.' Can you clarify what you mean by that statement if you do not believe in an afterlife? Yes, I'm a Christian, I'm not being sarcastic or lashing out at you….I'm just curious what you mean. Because if you are an atheist, you do believe that they are gone forever, right?

  83. Death of a family member living abroad is rather tough…
    Click here to watch my experience.
    https://youtu.be/8b0zhCJac-Y

  84. I miss my grandparents so much…I wish I could have one more hug with them…thankfor this video <3

  85. My great aunt just died and apparently my parents have a problem with me going to the service because I'm not a believer and its a religious service….like…what? I'm going to pay my respects to my aunt and accompany our family in a time of grief, i don't have a problem with people praying so why would there be any sort of problem with me being there. It's bs, i should be allowed to go to her funeral, she would want me to be there…i want to say my goodbyes

  86. I will be very happy if you get cancer.

  87. Me as a christan that believes in heaven and hell I strongly agree with you but me as believing in heaven Im not that scared as I strongly believe that I go to that place but I lost a friend that is an atheist and all of my other atheists friends I shared this video with them and they completely dealt with death thank you for making this video for my fellow atheist brothers but I have a message for people that have a religion, don't convert anyone to yours because we all have different thoughts and beliefs. RESPECT OTHERS ASWELL AS THEY RESPECT YOU because no matter if you are a christan a exorcist a catholic a Islamic a buddhist a orthordox ect. we are all people "JUST BEING NICE MAKES EVERYTHING EASY"

  88. Hell awaits for unbelivers,u have been told

  89. Your right they arent gone forever when they die

  90. I am currently losing my Mother after losing my Father last year. As an atheist in a overwhelmingly religious family, this video is very helpful. Thank you for being a voice of reason and comfort.

  91. https://youtu.be/CZ9FaLhOkWo

  92. I don´t believe in God, Jesus, the bible, but I believe in reincarnation.

  93. Thank you Hemant.
    I needed that!

  94. I **** 500 Christians last week. That should help this bill pass.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/western-australias-proposed-voluntary-euthanasia-laws-explained/11389076

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