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Saint Peter's Square was created so that more people could be in the presence of the Pope and was named after Saint Peter, one of Jesus's apostles.
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Handling Death without Faith

Jun 3rd 2013 new
Situation:
My brother has been diagnosed with a serious cancerous tumor in his brain. He's in a civil marriage to a Catholic-turned-aetheist, after his divorce (without annulment). He has three teenagers, all educated in Catholic schools but not baptized.

Question:
How do I help the kids handle their father's illness and eventual death when they have been raised to be aetheists? (Their mom chose Catholic schools for the academic strengths.)

Grateful for any suggestions.
Jun 4th 2013 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: Situation:
My brother has been diagnosed with a serious cancerous tumor in his brain. He's in a civil marriage to a Catholic-turned-aetheist, after his divorce (without annulment). He has three teenagers, all educated in Catholic schools but not baptized.

Question:
How do I help the kids handle their father's illness and eventual death when they have been raised to be aetheists? (Their mom chose Catholic schools for the academic strengths.)

Grateful for any suggestions.
Hi Marge! First, let me say that I am very sorry about your brother's illness and the impact that it will have on your family - both his and yours.

Based on my mostly personal and somewhat professional experience with hospice, my suggestion regarding how to help his children handle their father's death is to meet them where they are in their faith (or lack thereof) journey. Their experience with their father's death will be between him and them. Your experience with your brother's death will be between him and you. You can only be an example of your faith in practice.

In my humble opinion, it's more respectful of the family and their feelings to let them process this in their own way. With that said, it may open the door to their Catholic upbringing, if they have questions. This is where you can be an example of strength and practice for them.

Otherwise, I fear you risk alienating them from and depriving yourself of a necessary familial connection. My heart really goes out to you! Chelle

Jun 4th 2013 new
Good advice as always from Chelle, Marge. I am sorry to hear of your brother's illness as well and maybe during this time, his family will find faith and your brother as well. People tend to turn to God as the inevitable is upon them. It is difficult to foresee how they will accept the changes in his life and their lives so I think the best you can do is be available for them.

You are a strong woman, Marge and an example to everyone around you. You may not always see it but we do.

My prayers are with you all.

Eileen.
Jun 6th 2013 new
Marge.. so sorry to hear about your Brother.. Praying theheart
Jun 6th 2013 new
Dear Marge,

I am so very sorry about your brother. I agree with Chelle. Pete was raised with no faith whatsoever and when his father died it was a very difficult thing for him. His dad's death like his own was swift and unexpected, at least with your brother there is some time for things to be said and done. Prayer and example will be the best option. Be there to hug them and love them and answer their questions. Even children brought up to practice their faith (and not just kiddos) struggle with the why of death and the loss and how could God do this sort of thing. Lauren
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