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It's widely accepted that grief has 5 stages. Some say more but 5 seems to be pretty well agreed upon. The 5th and final stage of the grieving process is acceptance. How do you feel this milestone can be reached within the dogma of religion (xtianity specifically). My personal opinion is that acceptance truly can't be reached when a person believes they will see that loved one again in the afterlife.

FvckY0u 7 Jan 9

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Hello dear agnostic community.
Thanks for a very interesting topic about the grieving process. I was raised in a Catholic family but I always felt that God was not real due to manipulation through fear and oppression. So I gave up the religion of my
I lost my mother many years ago. I went through all the stages of mourning for the death of my mother but sometimes I feel in pain and I miss her when I start to relive the good times that I spent with her. I know that our bodies deteriorated over the years and Science can't stop that process.
I have read many books, I have watched videos, I have talked to many people about the stages of pain. All of this has helped me overcome the pain of having lost my mother.
My Christian relatives are more satisfied in accepting the loss of my mother because they believe that they will see her again in the afterlife.
As a non - believer I know that her body won't come back to life and I will not enjoy her being again.
Sometimes I feel guilty about her death for not having done more to keep her alive. But later I return to the reality that this process of death was inevitable.

If only people would realise the pain comes from selfishness. If you have accomplished everything that you want to with the deceased in their lifetime then there is nothing left to fulfill.
If you haven't that is your fault not theirs. Your pain may be you beating yourself up for your stupidity.
If you have failed to become independent of the deceased then they have failed you through not educating, supporting & enabling your growth from the dependency whether parental or merely codependent. Many parents do not encourage child dependence & one of the funniest is the partner who doesn't give their partner permission to die before them.

@FrayedBear , my mother was very independent single mother and because of her experiences she guided us well.
My sisters and I tried our best to pleased our mother's needs until the last breath. Pain for the lost of my mother isn't being selfish in my case. As adults we became very strong and independent humans thanks to my mother.

@Cecilia2018 Are you then simply circumscribed in your imagination thus unable to understand that there can be greater benefits with others and have the fortitude to go & seek them out?
Is such outside your comfort zone & beliefs?

@FrayedBear , I clearly understand the situation of my mother's departure and that is why in the bed of her last minutes of life I kissed her and thanked her for everything she did for me and my sisters. I told her that we were very proud of her and that we loved her very much and that she could go in peace.
I think that each person feels and interprets the pain for the loss of a very special being.

I do not criticize my religious family and I do not judge myself for allowing me to express the pain of my mother's absence.
I don't see it selfish or stupid.


Why would a religous person feel grief at all, their loved one is in a better place and the will join them when they die?

Being a practitioner of a religion does not exonerate them from pain, because they are still sensitive humans alive with emotions.


With christians there is a 6th stage, rising from the dead when jesus comes back for them.


Not trying to be rude to you, but what a load, that's a bandwagon argument. It's widely accepted that there is a god, so what? Different people experience grief in different ways and some people just don't. Saying there are 5 stages that you can experience in any particular order and you may not even experience them all is an unfalsifiable argument and if you have any scientific background you'll know how useful that is. And maybe you might think that doesn't address your main argument re: acceptance, but if your initial premise is flawed, you need to rethink. Considering the vagaries of human experience I would also question the concept of stages. Re: xtians: throughout history people have believed in gods and an afterlife. Are you arguing that none of our ancestors successfully grieved or reached acceptance?

No, not arguing that. I'm simply questioning whether a final stage of grief which is described as acceptance is something that is less achievable through religion than without it.

Personal observation (which I know is not scientific) demonstrates to me that even after decades of grief that grief is still there to an extent that the person must always talk about their grief and act upon it. I'm considering that the final stage of grief is not reached. Is this a Christian thing or simply a difference in personality and how one handles grief in general?

@darren316 anecdotally, from someone who works in that area I have seen no difference. We don't grieve their death, so much as we grieve our loss and that's similar in both cases. Even theists, because it's more than just xtians, have to grieve their loss of that person in this life. And I understand where you're coming from, but both achieve similar outcomes although perhaps the acceptance is different. It would make for an interesting study to get a more detailed scientific answer on all the different ramifications but I expect that ethics approval would be problematic.


I have no idea, I think that it would be much better to ask the Christians that , rather than the people on this site. But since I know a few Christians, I do not think that you will get less than twenty different answers from twenty Christians.


The only emotion I felt when my mother died was relief.
I went through those stages at not having a mother that other kids did as a child I suppose.

Indeed. She could never hurt me again.


Stages of grief are not experienced in any particular order and I believe everyone who suffers a loss of someone important in their life will either go through them - likely several time if my personal experience is any indication - or they will likely suffer some kind of consequence from suppressing the grief. Religious dogma could inhibit the process by providing someone with a rationalization for denying their need to grieve, but it won't remove the need to process their feelings of loss and to adjust to life without someone who was important to them.

I understand that some psychologists have claimed that individuals go through these stages with even minor and insignificant losses. The process may happen much quicker, like minutes or seconds, but we still go through them.


I feel that anything religious is just fake.


It’s widely accepted in my home that I’m sexy af....if you don’t believe me, just ask my cats!!😊

Buck Level 7 Jan 9, 2022

Having been raised in a Christian faith, I can say that I have personally witnessed many people who never shed a tear at the death of a loved one. They firmly believed that their loved one was in a better place and that the next thing they would see was the reunification with their family. If you believe that your existence on this planet is akin to being in a waiting room, how can you ever truly be sad over the death of a loved one? For these people “acceptance” is the first and only stage of grief!


The fact that so many do believe they will see that loved one again after death is a major point in carrying and spreading religion.


Not so. Believing in religion is all about acceptance. According to religion, when you die, your soul goes on to continued existence in a magical golden kingdom in the sky as the favorite pet of an all-powerful superbeing. If you can accept that, you can accept anything.


Belief in an "afterlife" means noting because ultimately you have to die to find out (or more likely you never do because you're dead) so acceptance for that reason is futile

If you believe, as I was taught to believe, that your puny existence on this planet, no matter how enjoyable, is but a waypoint, a rest stop on the road to heaven, how can you be sad when someone dies? The stages of grief for the orthodox believer are all screwed up. Acceptance is often the first and final stage.

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