On Saturday November 19th 2016 my older brother Alvin Colon was fatally struck by a car while riding his bike in Bristol, CT. he was 49 years old. The local newspaper stated that he was struck as he attempted to cross lanes by a 75 yr. old man who thankfully was not injured in the incident.
The accident took place around 5:20 or 5:30 p.m. and my brother was said to have died instantly. As an atheist I did not ask ridiculous questions nor turn to the invisible man in the sky for comfort. I needed no such help from an imaginary being whose existence I do not except due to the fact that like big foot evidence for his existence is ever more unconvincing and elusive. I did not find comfort from the many platitudes offered to me by my family and well meaning friends. I found comfort in myself and in my own experiences with my brother.
As an atheist I never say such idiotic things like "may he rest in peace" for he is not resting. I am convinced and have studied enough biology to know that once his brain ceased to function his consciousness his very being ceased to exist. I do not believe in Heaven nor Hell as taught and believed by many Christian groups. Nor do I believe in eternal reward or damnation. I simply believe that we have one life to live and we are to make the most of it while we can. Enjoy it to the fullest have goals and work hard to achieve them. Try to have the most positive experience out of life and be always aware that it can end at any moment without warning.
Today on November 28 of 2016 my brothers wake took place and he was later cremated. I did not attend the wake because I have a rule since as long as I can remember that I do not attend funerals for no one for any reason. I prefer to grieve alone remembering the person as he/she was when they spent time with me. I don't care to see photographs of them in a hospital bed dying or in a coffin during a funeral. Some can turn this into a positive experience and are reminded about human frailty etc. But I prefer to remember my positive experiences with the person.
My mother was told by my sister that my brother had been attending church and that he was with the Lord. She found comfort in that and it helped ease her pain and suffering which she quickly informed me and those that accompanied me as we initially broke the news of my brothers untimely death. Although I was annoyed with this initially, I remember saying to myself:" hey it's bullshit, but if it helps her than so be it." Some people need these fantasies to bring hope not for this world but for the so called "after life" where they believe that they will be reunited with those they have lost on this earth.
I live in the here and now and take comfort in that my brothers life struggles and sufferings in this life have finally ended. He has run his race and his life choices for better or for worse will no longer affect him. He is not resting, his "soul" is not in purgatory, or awaiting the final trumpet of resurrection, nor is it suffering in an imaginary hell; but rather he has simply ceased to exist. His body was cremated and his consciousness upon the death of his brain was no more. I read in a book that consciousness is what the brain does. In other words it's the results of the many biochemical functions of the brain. Once you understand and realize this truth you have no reason to suffer for the loss of your loved ones. We appreciate the time they spent with us and accept that they are no more.