For Atheists only

by Kaethra 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • Country_Woman

    there is not much that you can say to comfort her.

    If possible, don't go against the "hope", the believes, that she have. That is the only comfort she is having at the moment. Once you take that away, then she really lost everything.

    For the rest, just be there.

    Wish you a lot of strenght.

  • Jim_TX


    I do not know what you could say, but... would it be possible to offer to help out in the days and weeks that come?

    Both she and your brother may need someone there to help out - perhaps cooking a meal or two for them... or other small things to show your concern?

    (Hey! I'm not very good at this either! - plus, I'm a guy. *weak grin*)

    For what it's worth... my mom died of cancer this past spring. I didn't know that she had it - until I got a phone call early one Sunday morning from my sister, who told me that my mom had passed.

    "We thought we had longer." was her remark. "We always do." was my reply.

    Just be there for her.


    Jim TX

  • LittleToe

    If they dont want you in their lives, perhaps the only thing you might be able to do is send her positive pain-freeing vibes.
    It's at times like this that the artificial barriers, the WTS erects, seem all the more ridiculous.


  • CeriseRose


    That's a really hard situation. I can tell you in my experience with dealing with persons with cancer (in my case, my parents died 6 months apart both from cancer) the two lessons I learned.

    1. The person who is ill sets the tone for how others should deal with them. And that changes from hour to hour, day by day. Take your cues from them.

    2. There is really nothing *to* be said, other than what you feel in your heart you want to say. I would caution you to pick your moments (don't be too heavy and sentimental if they're not dealing well at the moment you want to say it), but if you want to tell her that you think it stinks that this is her prognosis, or that you're sad it happened to a nice person like her, or that you'll look out for your brother/nieces/nephews, or anything of the sort, then do it. And if she doesn't want to talk about it, switch to something else.

    What I found with my Mom and Dad is that they didn't want to 'talk' about the disease, because it was always laying there between us all when we talked anyway. Common interests, current events, 'normal' life were things that they wanted to focus on.

    I don't know how many opportunities you'll have with your SIL...and there were people like that in my parents' lives too. If you don't think you'll have an opportune moment to say things you want to, write them in a card. Then you don't have to put her in a position of 'dealing' when she's not able, and you can give your time and thought to what you want to say.

    What to say...well pretty much anything you want, really. If she has her own faith, you probably don't need to touch on it if she has a hope. If you have a different idea of what happens after death, don't bring it into the picture; chances are it won't comfort her, and it could become contentious.

    I hope you find some peace for yourself in all this, and although it's not a good prognosis, that your family bears up well in the coming time. {{{hugs}}}

  • Kaethra

    Thank you all so much for your caring words and suggestions.

    Oh, and don't worry...I'd never try to dissuade her from her faith at this point. This is one of the situations where I am envious of those with faith.

  • Terry

    Death is "no more" opportunity. No more choice; good or bad.

    Death is a pencil without eraser; a troubled song written in ink and sung wrong.

    If we tell the dying what is in our heart can we be wrong? Can living be right if dying is wrong?

    We grope as in darkness and stumble; often fall. But, we share the darkness with those we love and who care for us.

    Must we see every detail to love them or to help them? What does the light lend to love that darkness cannot remove?

    Only in being afraid do we loosen our grasp on life and yet, it is what we all do best when we care most for life. For, where the dying go; so go we all. There are more behind the darkness than our hearts can imagine. Yet, just as our world in darkness must each day end; it is only the dawn that can surprise the man who has never lived a day which has not ended.

    Peace is the pause between heartbeats. Is life our trouble then? What question does life ask that death cannot answer?

    Simple do and be and say and feel and pour your love into your thoughts and let the cups be filled until final light. You cannot be wrong.

  • boy@crossroads

    Everybody wants to feel like their life had meaning. Instead of focusing on the her future, try to help her realize how her life was significant. In her last times, I'm sure she'll think back and those memories may ease her pain.

  • truthseeker1

    Sickness is a horrible thing, no matter what you believe. Whatever this person believes should comfort them. Although you might not believe them, it still makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside. If she believes that she will be resurrected, then have her talk about that. If it lifts her spirits than she'll be that much happier.

    I'd suggest letting her do the talking and be there for her. Listen, laugh and love.

  • Markfromcali
    Oh, and don't worry...I'd never try to dissuade her from her faith at this point. This is one of the situations where I am envious of those with faith.

    There's no need to be envious, what is precious is the love. And of course that's pretty much what everybody is getting at in their own way, that love can be there whether this thing we're calling faith is there or not. The point about beliefs is not so much whether it's true or not or believable, it's just that it's not all that relevant as far as love is concerned. When love is shared unconditionally this way the beliefs really become very small and insignificant. Viewed another way, love is big enough to include any belief, because love doesn't reject anything. In this context it doesn't matter if the idea is true, because love isn't limited by the mind. It's like saying you are fine just the way you are, opening up your arms to embrace them.

  • Special K
    Special K

    Hi Kaethra

    Now I could kick myself. I saw you in chat the other night but felt I was too busy at the time to jump in and talk. I just read this thread and now wish I would have jumped in to talk to you.

    So, very sorry about your sister in law. Man, what a shocker for you and especially your older brother.

    I guess, if they are not wanting to see much of you and they don't change that stance.. Hmm?

    I'd start with writing her nice cards.

    My neighbour is dying from cancer and it is very terminal... so GET WELL cards are a definite NO, NO.

    I buy " thinking of you" cards whenever he is in the hospital and he really seems to have developed a sweet tooth. So I buy those little containers of mixed fudge samples and send along with my cards or those little Russell Stover boxes of chocolates,..stuff like that. Not a fortune on the pocket book but a great little gift of thought.

    If they don't want to talk with you, then you could buy a slew of these cards and write a brief message on each one you send. If they talk to you a little, you could follow that up with short phone calls or brief visits.

    Since my neighbour lives next door. I keep my visits as long as it takes to have a cup of tea. The tea gives us both a focus and I try to talk about everyday things. something I saw in nature, other family members. What I'm doing today. Funny things I read in the news like "50,000 missing cans of beer in N.B.".. not really downer news but kind of bizarre interests.. Light stuff, unless they start talking about something else. I scan the newspaper for just that kind of stuff. You can skim "theherald" quickly on line without subscribing for it.

    Some women like .. those "Oprah" magazine, or Good housekeeping.. etc.(make sure you scan it for some unappropriate article first". Nature magazines..Canadian Geographic. That Nova Scotian East Coast magazine "Saltscape." (Just suggestions, Kaethra)

    I'm so sorry Kaethra.. I thought your SL was going to be okay. What a kick in the teeth this has been.

    Remember Dear Kaethra, our door and phone line is always open to you and yours. Anytime.


    Special K and Mr. Special K

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