Family values

zarathustra's picture
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Family values

While I will ultimately make my own decision on the matter, I am curious as to the opinions and experiences of others facing this similar situation:

I was raised Catholic, but I had absconded over 10 years ago, and actually resolved never to enter a church again. This presented some minor conflict between me and my parents over the years, but nothing grave. It has only recently become a point of contention which requires some deliberation: My father passed away at the beginning of this year, which came as quite a shock to my mom. While I briefly considered not attending the funeral service, I opted to do so for my mom's sake, so as not to compound her grief. The service was as much a farce as I expected, but as of yet I have no regrets for attending. I have also tolerated her religious thinking over the months following dad's death. She will on occasion things like "He is watching us from heaven", and for my birthday she sent me "Language of God", in the apparent hope it would bring me back into the fold (so far it hasn't). I have considered giving her "End of Faith" to read in response. Now as my dad's anniversary approaches, she has scheduled a funeral mass. Some relatives will be flying in to attend as well. I certainly do not want to permit this to become a routine event in my life, participating in a ceremony whose essence I find utterly ridiculous, yet I imagine it will look quite atrocious should family members come in from across the country, while the son himself doesn't attend, and I don't wish to open any wounds with my mom when she still may be grieving (though better than before).

What are your thoughts on what to do? Is it proper to enter a debate someone on their beliefs when they are still in the grieving process? I have always scoffed when I hear in abstract that people take comfort in religion, but it is a little different when it's my own mom.

There are no theists on operating tables.


Pallas's picture
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I would just go and deal

I would just go and deal with it. I think it would be a bit rude to debate beliefs during a time like that, but maybe I'm too soft.

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Razorcade's picture
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The Big Top Funeral Farce

Honestly, I would just say to my mother that, "I prefer to remember my father in my own way."

End of story. If she doesn't accept that, or gets angry, there is not much you can do about it.

Angelic_Atheist's picture
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Its a memorial for your dad.

Its a memorial for your dad. Go ahead and go, I'm sure you wont regret it. Such things are for the family not the deceased, take advantage of it. Heart
Remember him with the rest of the family. This is a great time to hear stories about him that you wouldnt otherwise hear.

All that religious rhetoric annoys me too, but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

If anyone desides this would be a good time to ambush you, walk away and join another group.
Emotions will be closer to the surface, for everyone there...keep that in mind.

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins