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Herbivorous Urchin
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We recently had a death, my great grandma from South Carolina (mother's side), as I always called her. I loved her very much, and I called her every day after my Grandma on my dad's side. When she passed away last night at 9:14pm Pacific time in her sleep, I knew she was out of pain and with the thought that I loved her. In my family, on my fathers side, everyone knows how everyone feels about each other, I probably tell my dad I love him ten or more times a day, not because it's habit, but because I'll look at him and just think "G-d I love you" so I tell him. I tell Ingrid that whenever I feel it, and so on.

I always had a complicated relationship with my mother, details which I won't go into, but needless to say, we had severe problems. It took me a long time to learn that... she is who she is. I need to accept that. Because if I don't, she won't have anyone when she gets old. My siblings are worthless and won't, and she needs to know someone will love her when she dies. As I repaired my relationship with her, I realized why she was how she was, and it made it even easier still.

If someone dies who you love, will they know how much you love them? Do you call your grandparents or great grandparents who are maybe nearly the end? Do you even feel it's important that they know, seeing as this is a very atheistic/agnostic community, and many likely feel there is just darkness after, and if there is, why bother calling your 97 year old great grandma?
 

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No.

I don't think I love my family.
 

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I think if you show people that you care about them and tell them that you love them, they'll live feeling loved and probably feel loved up until the end - but I think the important thing is that they feel loved while they are alive.

I make an effort with my grandma, who is 90, much more than I used to, and mostly because I'm aware that she hasn't got too long left - it could be any day now, or it could be in five to ten years. I don't make as much of an effort with my other grandma, who is ten years younger, but that's not just because she's younger, it's also because she has more people living near her and doesn't live alone, so I don't think she's lonely. I'm not really sure whether I'd say I love either of them. We're not a close family, so apart from my Mum, sister, Dad, and one aunt who I'm quite close to, I don't really know any of them and while I'll be sad when my grandmas die, it won't be a huge loss like if one of my close family members died. The reason why I make an effort with my older grandma is because I want her to feel loved, not necessarily that I love her - but then, I do care about her enough to do that, so maybe I do love her, just to a much lesser extent than I love my parents and sister. Then again, that's the same thing as I'd want for pretty much anyone.

Sorry, I got a bit rambly there.
 

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For the first question, no, probably not. I haven't told any humans in my family that I love them in about seven years. So if anyone were to die soonish, they probably wouldn't know I loved them, if I even did anyway.

I dislike, well more accurately, am apathetic towards most of my family (excluding immediate family). I like my grandparents and uncles and I guess my dad, but everyone else is just meh. I appreciate most of them though. Wait, now that I think of it, it's not true that I haven't said "I love you" to any of my family in the last seven years. I do love my cousins and do tell them love them. But that's it. I'm not close to anyone, I like to avoid going to the family get togethers that are increasingly rarer over the past 5+ years, I can't even remember the last time I saw much of my family. And if it weren't for my cat, buns, and goos, I probably would have upped and left for wherever a long time ago (i.e. 1.5 years ago
), further avoiding seeing anyone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post

If someone dies who you love, will they know how much you love them? Do you call your grandparents or great grandparents who are maybe nearly the end? Do you even feel it's important that they know, seeing as this is a very atheistic/agnostic community, and many likely feel there is just darkness after, and if there is, why bother calling your 97 year old great grandma?
All my grandparents have passed. My longest living grandmother died a few months ago. She had dementia and so she didn't know who I was anymore. She was 98 when she died. For that reason, calling her wouldn't likely have had much benefit for her. It might have eased my conscience if I had called her more often, but I didn't. I was very sad when she died because I felt guilty. I felt guilty because I thought of her as racist and so I avoided her. Her racism made it hard for me to see her as anything more than that. I never let her meet my son. I felt guilty about that when she died. But at the same time, my feelings about my grandfather changed dramatically after we visited him in his final months. I don't think it's necessarily a good thing for children to be exposed to dying people who are in pain. Anyone in pain can be very mean.

I tell my close family that I love them. I feel like they know and I won't have any worries that they will pas away without knowing I love them. I tell my son I love him all the time. I tell my mom and my husband often. My sister and nephew hear it too, but maybe I should tell them more often. Then there are some other family members whom I don't speak to as often (my dad, etc). I don't say "I love you" much because, frankly it's not 100% true. We're not close; we just interact because of blood or marriage.

But I think it's important for people to feel loved as they exit this world. I'm glad Hospice exists to help people in that regard. It's not about religion or anything. I don't need to believe in an afterlife in order to feel that one shouldn't feel loney in their final moments on Earth. I'm a little offended by the suggestion in the OP that athiests and agnostics wouldn't care about that. I imagine my death and I think it would be far worse if I were alone than if I had some loved ones around. I think everyone should have someone to hold their hand and help ease their fear and pain.
 

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Originally Posted by River View Post

Because if I don't, she won't have anyone when she gets old...
well, some people have earned that, from family.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post

If someone dies who you love, will they know how much you love them? Do you call your grandparents or great grandparents who are maybe nearly the end? Do you even feel it's important that they know, seeing as this is a very atheistic/agnostic community, and many likely feel there is just darkness after, and if there is, why bother calling your 97 year old great grandma?
Surely an antheist would have more reason to make it clear while they're alive. If you think there's an afterlife, in particular a heaven, you can tell them then, and spend time with them then. If you think your time on earth is the only time you have, you'd make the most of the time with the people here more, don't you think? You'd bother to call your 97 year old great grandma because you cared about her, not because of an afterlife or lackthereof - well I would anyway.

Anyway, I tell my parents I love them all the time. I'm not that close with the rest of my family, but I make sure I see them w hen I'm visiting home and send cards/etc, to make sure they know I care and am thinking about them. Family can be difficult because by it's very nature there is a lot of history! Personally I tend to ignore that and concentrait on the here and now, some people like to hash out the past, but that's just not me.
 
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