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Re: [humanism-174] advice on planning your funeral

From: Joanna
Sent on: Friday, September 28, 2012 10:14 AM

"Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children" is a wonderful book. I was looking for a way to explain it to my children when the time comes, and this book is fabulous. It was even comforting to me.


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From: sheri presloid <[address removed]>;
To: <[address removed]>;
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] advice on planning your funeral
Sent: Fri, Sep 28,[masked]:01:45 PM

Perfectly said, Tim!

I have my mother's hair brush with her hair on it.  Now, do I hold it and cry and all that stuff?  No.  I just am happy that I have SOMETHING of her (even if it is just hair) with me.  

I lost my father when I was 12.  I was not an Atheist at that point.  For years, I would picture him in "heaven" and talk to him and all this stuff.  When I became an atheist, I was so relieved I was able to "let go" of imaginary thoughts.  When my mother passed last year, she knew I was an Atheist and being able to hold her hand during her last breaths and tell her I would see her in my dreams made me feel a hell of a lot better than to say I will see you one day in heaven.  If I believed, I would just dwell on that for the rest of my life.  But, because I don't, I am able to have my memories and continue LIVING my life.

I had a coworker ask me if I was mad at god for giving my mother cancer.  I told her that I don't believe in a god, so there is no one to blame or be mad at.  Everything born must die.  This is life.



On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM, Tim Campbell <[address removed]> wrote:
Well, that is certainly true, but not relevant to offering comfort to the family of a non-believer.  While believers may imagine that they will all be reunited one day in the magic land of Heaven, what does one say to those who do not believe in Heaven (and are therefore condemned to not go there anyway)?
 
That my atoms will continue for trillions of years is enough for me!
 
Tim
 
 
In a message dated 9/27/2012 6:54:19 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [address removed] writes:
Doesn't matter what remains, you will never interact with that person again....  :(
Not in the sense of meeting conscious mind with conscious mind...



On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM, Joanna <[address removed]> wrote:

Though you must lose, however, it is a comfort still that something remains. The person, I must disagree, does live on; not in its own consciousness, but within those...you know where I'm going with that.

I say a person who was loved is never gone.

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From: Linas K Muliolis <[address removed]>;
To: <[address removed]>;
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] advice on planning your funeral
Sent: Thu, Sep 27,[masked]:46:18 PM

It's really cool and all, but still, the consciousness, the person, is still not the same as the energy and atoms, etc...

That will forever be gone...




On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 4:41 PM, sheri presloid <[address removed]> wrote:
You made my day, Joanna!  I am glad that you got the same reaction I did.  

I lost seven people (including my mother and best friend) since July 2011.  I found this so comforting and thought of the material things that I have from my mother and friend and I will look at those objects in a different way.   :)


On Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM, Joanna <[address removed]> wrote:

Wow. That is beautiful and, when I think of those lost to me, I am comforted. Thank you for sharing.


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From: sheri presloid <[address removed]>;
To: <[address removed]>;
Subject: [humanism-174] advice on planning your funeral
Sent: Thu, Sep 27,[masked]:14:28 PM

I was listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast on An Atheist Funeral and he ended the episode with an email from a listener who sent in the following.  I googled it and it was on NPR    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4675953.  I thought it was just perfect.  This is from 2005, so this might have been repeated.

Commentator Aaron Freeman isn't a person who does much planning ahead. However, if you like to look ahead to the future, he has some advice for you, advice on planning your funeral.

AARON FREEMAN:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. 





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