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However the reason for writing this post is not to give a treatise on our non-religious views, which are most definitely atheistic. The purpose of this post is to explain that not only was our stance immensely liberating but more importantly it helped us grieve more effectively.
We did not start out becoming atheist and thinking, "if we ever have a funeral it would be an atheist one." But when it came to the moment nothing was more natural and more helpful to us as individuals and as a family. Again we did not structurally think that an atheistic funeral was going to be helpful. But as it rolled out and afterwards all we can say is that our atheistic funeral was one of the best possibly funeral experiences.
In the last few years my parents died, and their funerals were, according to their wishes of a Methodist inclination. We fullfilled that in honour of my parents. But with Jane the slate was clean for us to think about the funeral in all aspects.
Actually if I can take it back a step, the founding principle came after Jane's death in Dublin. We had the option of having Jane cremated in Dublin. Instead we took the more expensive, more complicated route of repatriation to Oxford. In taking that decision we decided one further thing.
We decided to do the job properly.
One of the most important words in that sentence is "we". We decided. We worked through the process of creation of the funeral as a set of three equals. Yes we had differing opinions at times, and given the circumstances some of that was very passionate. But throughout we held together, debating until we found an equable solution. Ever since we have tried to stay together on all important decisions.
With regard to the funeral, without religion, we felt a clear simplicity in what was needed. Yes, it was difficult to put ourselves to it. But together the simple fact was whatever we did was for Jane. We decided individually and collectively that whatever we did had to be done thinking that Jane would be proud of our actions.
My point is that, withoit religion, the issue was clear. Greiving was, and is, and will be clear. Yes, it is painful, and there is nothing any one of us would give to have Jane with us today. But that will not happen and as second best we must do our best to remember Jane properly.
Or to sum it up, ForJane.