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One of the easiest steps to trip over as an atheist parent is helping our children to understand and to face the realities of death, grief, and loss. Some people want so desperately to help their children avoid the pain of loss that their self doubt sneaks in and suggests that the idea of heaven is a good place holder for reality...until their children are older. After all, isn't it easier?
It can be tempting, easy to tell our children that there is a lovely heaven waiting at the end of our lifetime. We look into their frightened faces, we see their eyes pleading for another answer, we know how difficult reality is to deal with. We know because reality is difficult for adults to deal with too. And yet...
The shortcut offered by magical thinking has a very high cost. It gives a fertile ground for fiction and mythology to grow like a weed. It circumvents critical thought. Often...often it challenges parents who are still very uncomfortable with the concept of death being the final point of life. Brainwashing can be strong and we can be weak.
Some recovering first-generation atheist parents still feel the guilt, the pull of the supernatural. It might seem so much easier to offer heaven to reality. But it's not easier because it's not true.
They will look at you with those faces, those adorable faces, asking questions like Will you die, Momma? and Will I die, Momma? and, though your heart is breaking, you will have to answer those questions...so I've made this video for you so that you will be prepared...a little.
The video is on SecTv's channel and is called
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