My grandfather died recently, so I had to go home for the funeral. I hate funerals. They’re just not for me. I don’t have this kind of very public grieving process that some people evidently have. I just do my best to get on with life, and if I need to cry, then I cry and get it out and move on. Funerals are supposed to help people to do that, I know, but personally I don’t need it. The whole idea of having this big, formal process — basically a pageant — to deal with private, personal grief just makes no sense.
But that’s not why I say they make me glad to be an atheist. I’m glad to be an atheist because I know my funeral won’t be hijacked by some asshole with an agenda and completely fucked up priorities.
The eulogy was read by a family friend, and it talked about how my grandfather grew up in a poor neighbourhood, served in the Army, raised his kids and then grandkids. It talked about how proud he was of his grandkids, how he took care of all of us even into his old age. The eulogy talked about his personality, how he could be stubborn and crotchety sometimes but he still loved his family and was loved by them.
Then the pastor took the floor. He talked about how totally sweet heaven is. It’s “a million times better than Hawaii”, he said. Then he talked about how my brother talked my grandfather through a deathbed conversion. (My brother’s like that, even though he doesn’t attend church.) The pastor said it was the best decision my grandfather made in his life, “even though it came right at the end.”
FUCK YOU, Pastor Asswad.
What about raising a family? What about caring for his grandkids? What about picking them up from school and cooking them dinner so his daughter, my mother, could work and make enough money to put us through school? What about the shit he did that actually mattered? What about all the little decisions he made that actually affected people and made their lives better?
This is why I’m glad to be an atheist. Because I know that, when I go, there won’t be some asshole up at a podium using my death to push his agenda. Instead, my family will be there, remembering me for the life I actually lived and the things I actually did. That’s how I want it to be. That’s how it should be.