As an atheist, I've begun to wonder why I go to my son's memorial. I've been a little short with my husband regarding the way he talks about Myles in front of DD. We are not, in fact, visiting Myles. We are visiting his memorial. It is a ritual, one of remembrance, one of bonding and sharing our loss. A ritual for us, not for him. I don't see it as more than that. and I don't want my daughter to think it is more. I don't want her to think we are visiting 'him', because I think she could get confused by the fact that his body is there but that he is not his body. I don't want her to think, for example, that he is cold, or lonely, or experiencing things there where he is buried. So I think language makes a big difference but DH isn't as delicate as me.
My husband is a deist, and I wish I could say our views haven't clashed over the years a little. In general, I'm disappointed completely with how Myles' death has been discussed with our daughter by most of my family. I was gone for five hours after he had died. When DD was around our family and they all had Myles' body and were telling her all sorts of things. I'm just worried she is confused. I've always told my family, by all means, share your beliefs with my daughter. But please, preface it with, "I believe . . . ". Don't treat your beliefs as fact. I don't think she should be under the impression that this is factual, that everyone agrees. Because we, as a world, considering all of our religions, don't agree. So I want her to hear the beliefs of many people, but I want her to first and foremost realize that belief is subjective.
So, it does kind of suck that I didn't get to help guide those discussions at the time. Because now she has all these set things in her mind, things that aren't 'weird' (that Myles is an angel, that he's in heaven) but that I wish she didn't believe on a physical level. She was looking at this beautiful sunset the other day, and she said that was heaven but noted she didn't see anyone there. Very astute. I don't tell her either way, mostly when we talk about these things, I ask her more questions than I tell her what to think.
I've always thought that if religion brings my daughter peace, I'm glad for her. It has never brought me peace. The idea of my son being somehow conscious and in some alternate reality is actually disturbing to me. I guess I could talk about it further, but I don't want to make moms like me, who do believe this, upset or offended by my misgivings. As I said, whatever brings you peace and happiness is what you should do. I find peace in knowing my son is at peace, and that he never learned the cruelties of this world, only the warmth and love of my womb. And I guess that's all I have to say about that right now.