Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Humanist Funerals

Read this alternet post by Greta Christina that turned up on my Facebook wall and really liked it

When It's Not God's Plan: 8 Things to Say to Grieving Nonbelievers

The article was written by Greta Christina, who has a pretty cool blog. And if you liked her article, here are some other ones she's written on Alternet, and if you googled I'm sure you could find her blog easy enough.

And here was my own comment about her article. As seems to be a re-occuring theme, my blog posts are copied from other posts or emails I've sent other places and modified slightly with intros, outros, or extra tidbits.

Really liked this article. At my grandfather's funeral the preacher, who had never met my grandfather personally to the best of my knowledge, spent a lot of time preaching and proselytizing during the funeral. I felt like he robbed me of a comforting day to see my grandfather off. He kept saying things like how happy my grandfather would be if we accepted Jesus and such things. I honestly wanted to punch him in the face, but then that would just ruin the funeral even more. It was painful, as my grandfather was the most peaceful and non judgemental people I've ever known. He also never, to my memory, ever preached or talked about God at all. He might have been a believer, he might have been an atheist, or an agnostic, but he never really spoke about it, at least never in my presence, and as I lived next door, I spent as much, if not more time growing up at my grandparents house. So to have this man who didn't know him preaching in his name, and trying to manipulate people into joining the flock felt like an insult to the memory of my grandfather. I'd even wrote a song about it, and my cousin Sean helped me record it. I think I've lost the recording, but the line I remember was 'An Underhay (the preacher's name) would never know what it meant to see him smile'. To this day it still bothers me a bit when I think of it. Although, over time, I've become less angry. He was probably doing what he thought was right at the time. But at the time it really hurt, and even some of the religious people at the funeral commented how he was out of line. I just feel like a funeral should be a place that tries to be comforting to the family and friends who loved the person, and should respect that it's an the wrong place to preach, at least the type of fire and brimstone stuff he was preaching, telling folks if they don't convert they will go to hell. Anyway, this article seems to have brought up old memories, and I found it really practical and hopeful. I really hope that when I pass away I can have a humanist funeral that is true to my own life, that can still be comforting to any and all who loved me, regardless of whether or not they are believers or atheists like me.