What can an atheist say to a grieving friend?

March 20, 2012 | By | Reply More

What can an atheist say to a friend who is grieving the death of a loved one? Believers have a standard repertoire: “He’s with God now.” “I’ll pray for you.” “She’s in heaven now.”

As I’ve written before, I don’t really have a standard phrase to utter in those situations, but that’s probably for the best. I certainly don’t want to sound like a greeting card.

Greta Christina recently raised this same issue. She and her readers compiled a list of approaches for people who don’t believe in God. Her extensive list includes the following:

1. “I’m so sorry.”

2. “I remember when… /My life is so much better because of…”

3. “What can I do to help?”


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Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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