Yesterday morning, there was a death in my family. While it wasn't expected, it wasn't a surprise either. The family member, my grandmother, was elderly and her health had been flagging for several years - though she remained healthy enough to live on her own up to the very end. She died in her house, in her own bed, apparently in her sleep, which seems a good way to go. Because of this, I may or may not be having to help family with funeral arrangements and associated activities, so my writing on this blog might flag over the next week or so.
It has been interesting to see how everyone describes their feelings and how they are coming to terms with this. The religious members of my family talk about her being in a "better place" and look forward to seeing her again, while I hold out no such hopes and simply mourn the loss.
It is common for me to hear my fellow atheists deride belief in the afterlife as a fear-motivated notion from people who wish to never die. That may be true for some, but I don't think it's that simple for many people. I know that while I do not believe in an afterlife myself, I do find the idea attractive not because I fear death, but because I miss those who have died. It's not that I want to live forever, it's that I very much want to see other people again. Unfortunately, wanting to believe something has never been sufficient for me to make myself believe it.
At any rate, I have other entries I am working on, and I will get back to a semi-normal posting schedule (I might even have one this week), but if nothing posts for a little bit, that's the reason why.