My Grandma died today.
Memories are a strange thing... So many things I hadn't thought about forever are suddenly at the forefront of my mind.
The Fourth of July. Every year we spent the Fourth of July at Grandma's house - an all day family BBQ on the Columbia River culminating in watching the big fireworks display across the river. I always tried to steal Grandma's rocking chair.
Birthday slumber parties. Every year from about 5 through 8 I would spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. And in the morning, we would eat breakfast at Waddles and go to the mall where I would get to pick out a present.
Grandma was a great lady. She raised some pretty great kids and got to see her grandchildren. I'm glad I got to know her.
It is hard to discuss death in our culture. We seek to avoid actual death at every turn - seek to soften the blow as much as possible. So our discussions of death are colored by religious iconography, religious imagery, Faith. It is incredibly difficult to discuss death without unconsciously invoking religion.
If you are an atheist, I could use some advice. I love my family. I have no desire to alienate them. I have no desire to be one of those asshole atheists. So how do you discuss death with family without invoking religion? How do you discuss death with family without everything getting weird?