Humanism helps us cope with death
One of the big fears people of faith seem to have is how they will cope with loss and death without the promise of an afterlife. We non-religious do just fine. Not only fine, but most of us are convinced the non-religious and specifically humanistic approach to dealing with death is superior. Here’s why.
The grief process is all about acceptance. We fight it, we try to hide from it. We bargain, we deny and eventually we accept death. Humanists, just accept death. We don’t go through all the rigmarole. Or rather we do, but we take a short cut. As soon as our brains try to deny reality – we tell our brains – sorry – you need to accept this. The grief process is shorter for us and we view that as a good thing. Grief sucks. It feels horrible. We are ok with feeling bad. After all, how else would you feel when something bad happens. But there is no reason to wallow unnecessarily. Getting on with life is a good thing and accepting death helps us to do that – sooner rather than later.
Elimination of Fear
I don’t fear death. I don’t want to die but I understand that at some point I will. So I have no reason to fuss and worry about it in the meantime. All I can do is take care of myself and try to keep my body health and not take any unnecessary risks. After that – worry won’t improve my chances so why engage in it? Not only that but I know I have a limited amount of time on earth. It would be silly to waste it worry about something that is, in the end, inevitable.
Living Life Fully
Speaking of inevitable, knowing I am going to die gives my life an immediacy to it. I have a limited amount of time on earth. Despite all my good intentions and exercising and eating right, I could still die tomorrow. Accepting that means I don’t spend time worry about it. Instead, I think – ok – how do I make the most of the time I have. There is nothing quite like knowing you are going to die to help you live life fully now. There is a saying, live like you are going to die tomorrow, plan as if you are going to live forever. That’s pretty much what life is like every day as a humanist. And It’s a pretty awesome state of mind to be in.
Who knew that accepting death would provide so much happiness? The Humanists do.
To learn more about coping with death as a Humanist - check out the book: The Humanist Approach to Grief and Grieving. http://humanistgrief.com/
If you need to help a child cope with death - check out this free video lesson: https://humanistlearning.com/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-death/