OK… so I’m guessing some people might get their backs up about this… maybe be offended. And that’s okay.
There were lots of memes going around Facebook a little while ago about the children that were killed in the school shooting in the US last month. Things along the lines of that those children are now in heaven or are angels or whatever. Usual religious platitudes.
And whenever any of my Facebook friends post an RIP about a loved one there are doubtless numerous posts underneath offering sympathy and the reassurance that said loved one is in a good place and looking down on them, whether the person posting the RIP is religious or not.
… I know such responses are made from a good place, with no malice. And I know that for many people notions of heaven bring great comfort. I’m not saying otherwise.
But you know what? I think it’s damn presumptuous that some religious people assume that everyone shares their religious beliefs and wants these platitudes to be offered. If a person I love died and someone told me that I shouldn’t worry because they’re waiting for me in heaven or whatever, I think (I know) I’d be freakin’ furious! How dare they take away from my pain and offer me meaningless platitudes based on their religious beliefs?!
If you believe in god and heaven, well great for you! But don’t assume that everyone does. And don’t assume that everyone wants to be told their loved ones are still around, watching them, always with them. Some people just don’t see life (and death) like that and won’t appreciate you trying to sugarcoat their pain. Just let people grieve… don’t try to remove their pain by telling them something you have no way of knowing. Just be there for them.
And as for those poor children and their grieving families… how about we see what a horrific thing it was, stop making it about us, and just let the families grieve.