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In the past six years I have lost a daughter, my son, my wife and most recently my right leg. Being agnostic I never took time to pray for or to anything. When I get asked how I have survived all that I simply reply will power and self determination. I live by one rule"To Thine Own Self Be True"! Does anyone else have a similar motto?

jimmie3286 4 May 12

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your loved ones and losing a leg. I've experienced trauma and loss both as a believer and a nonbeliever, and it was much harder when I was a believer for various reasons such as "testing our faith", etc. I don't think most believers fully grieve their losses. They deny finality as a way to cope which (IMO) devalues life. I don't have a moto per se, but I do have a quote:

"We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one." Tom Hiddleston

Great quote, I will try to remember that one.

I had similar experiences. I was still a believer when my daughter died and was told that "Satan is testing you!" Testing me for what? At least now I don't have to worry about having to pass some idiotic test.

Interesting post and reply. I just read a report from the "Atlantic." about loss and different people's ability to recover. []

@cindirosebliss I'm sorry for your loss, and my heart sank when I read that you were told that "Satan is testing you." That's so cruel. When my late husband committed suicide due to a neurological disorder and major depression caused by sustaining a traumatic brain injury, I was informed by several in the religious community that he was going to hell for taking his own life which triggered nightmares and daymares of him suffering excruciating pain for eternity.

@JackPedigo Thanks for sharing the article.

@VictoriaNotes Thank you. I heard from several people in a grieving group where their child had committed suicide and were told the same thing. I'm not sure what they get out of telling people that. My husband attempted suicide but fortunately he didn't succeed. He is doing well now, but needs meds and therapy to maintain is balance. There is so much we don't know yet, about depression, anxiety and suicide, it's not fair that others try to pass judgment.


Nietzsche's "To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering."

Jean-Luc Picard's "Seize the time... live now! Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again."


Just remember the religious explanation would be it was God's will. Who would want to worship a cruel God like that? I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we admire your strength.


First I want to say how sorry I am for all your losses. I was feeling pretty down today, as I was missing my children and at least they are all still here. Then I read your account. Life is not always fair and gives us no guarantees. I try and live in the day that I am given. And not allow myself to stay down, if I suddenly find that it has crept up on me. Stay the of luck to you.


My motto isn't similar, but I live by it.
Jail sucks.


Within three years I had a heart attack/open heart surgery, lost two ex-husbands (one I still loved very much), two brothers and a father. I understand exactly what you are talking about.

When asked, I just tell them that what happened would have happened whether or not I believed in a God. Nothing would have made a difference. Now, what would have made a difference would have been if my brothers and one ex would have stopped chain smoking, my father decided on a different career (he was a Chemistry teacher and worked around dangerous chemicals all the time), and the other ex controlled his diabetes and morbid obesity better. My point, I tell them, is not the "God" you worship, but the way you take responsibility for yourself.

Even so , sooner or later , we all die .

You're damn right!


I salute you and your mental strength. I too have suffered tragic losses, my elder son by suicide just a few months ago, the most recent. I have been asked by believers how I manage without god in my life to pray to for strength. They are amazed when I tell them I find the strength from within myself, and have no need, other than having the company of understanding and supportive friends and other family members...for “no man’s an island”. ( in my case woman). I too use the Polonius quote from Shakespeare as a motto to live by, for if we cannot be true to ourselves and our own ideals, then our lives are completely meaningless. I trust you are keeping in good health, you don’t say why you suffered the loss of your leg, but that is an additional trial which you have had to cope with, and one where I cannot assume to know how it’s left you feeling. Best wishes for the future, I feel you will do well.

I lost my leg about a year and a half ago. I have had two prosthetic legs and had learned to walk quite well with the second. However I took a fall that busted my knee up and it got infected. After a few weeks in the hospital it was amputated as well. Now I am back in a wheelchair once again and beginning the process all over again to get a new prosthetic for an above the knee amputation.

@jimmie3286 Respect your courage .


Condolences on your losses. I lost my family when I discovered that religion was a myth. When I rejected Mormonism, my wife took the children and disappeared. Later, I discovered where my children were, but they wanted nothing to do with me. I have reason to believe that my ex-wife has painted me to be a real monster. I know she has accused me of things that are not true.

However, I have my integrity intact. I know the difference between myth and reality, and I choose to live in reality. I am sad to have lost my family, but I am happy to have my integrity and my knowledge of the truth. It's been 30 years since I lost my family, so I have overcome it, and I'm happier now than ever before.

I think I shall adopt your motto, "To thine own self be true." I have lived it, but you have put it in words for me. Thank you!

I thought that I am the real victim of religion which made me escape from my home country and not be able to return, but after reading this... you have paid much for your believes.

@Noor92 I'm sorry that you have been expelled from your country. I hope you have found a place where you can think freely, and I hope that you have found happiness. 🙂


I don't know if I live by this but it helps keep me more positive 'If I'm having a lousy day, someone's having a worse one'. My hat is off to you sir, stay strong.


I am sorry for the loss of your family members, and for losing your leg.

"Be kind and strong and have fun."


I think that are very few people in this world who can say that their lives are totally uneventful and happy. We all have bad things happened to us but we go on, one day at a time.


Some times I look at mirror or the waiting room at my work and I say in my mind " wegonnamakeit ".
And u are making it ♥️


My Hat and Respect goes to You.


I'm so sorry!

I tell myself that it won't matter in 100 years and I've reincarnated somewhere else.

That's my dad's favorite comment.. a 100 years from now it won't matter.


One of the most amazing parts of being human ls how resilient we are. Forrest might have been right. Shit Happens. I honor your strength and resilience.



I have been through hell a few times, I think they know my name there. I've lost babies, loves, family. So much pain has come my way.

One thing my dad told me when I was really really young that stuck: "You are stronger than you think you are, and wiser than you will ever know. Never let anyone tell you that you are not. When you give them that power, you lose a little bit of your strength and wisdom." I might have forgotten that a few times.

LilaQ Level 3 May 13, 2019

Oh my dear, so much loss. You are amongst friends here. Much love


Sorry you had to go through all that.


Below ignores the situation your personal situation. I do want to acknowledge your perseverance in the face of what you've seen. Keep working forward.

Think about it. The fact that we're here at all is unimaginably unlikely. Among other things, what are the chances that our parents got together and had us -- and their parents, and their parents and so on through time. (BTW -- that unlikelihood applies whether Dog is involved or not.)

Just that we are here to think of these things makes us the luckiest creatures imaginable. I have my issues too -- just walking or moving is a struggle for me. But you know what? I don't have much room to complain. On the scale of possible outcomes, I'm not all that far from the top. I'll work with it.

I think it was a Bloom County character, Bill The Cat that sometimes fell into a numb stupor contemplating the very idea of it all. Sometimes I can see his point.


I don't have a motto. I just have my imagination and artwork. I'm not sure it's enough sometimes but I'm still here. Just live for the moment. It might be the last.


Mine is 'to live is to survive' are a strong person I must say...determination is in you! Life is full of ups and downs but we have to keep on moving😊


You're a tougher man than I've ever imagined being. I admire you.


Odd you've chosen a Biblical phrase , although , it's a good one .

I never knew that! When you think about it though, when you put that many words in a book there is bound to be something in there that makes sense. Sort of in the same vein as the story of the monkees on the typewriters who will eventually type every book ever written.

Actually, "To Thine Own Self Be True", is a quote from William Shakespeare,
not the bible.



you are courageous & it's apparent that you still have a quality of life that is worth living.


I survive with grit and determination

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