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Sad story... and just mind boggling.

Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting


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July 14th, 2011, 10:14 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 309
My sister and I are not close. She has always just been very different from me in her life goals and expectations. She dropped out of college after one semester, because an exotic dancer, decided she would never date white men again (I am absolutely not racist, but it's just odd to exclude all men of your race for whatever reason), got really into watching sports, then moved to Arizona so she could try to sleep with a bunch of the members of the Phoenix Suns. At one point she was listing off all of the ones she had slept with. I went to college, got married, settled down, and had my life in order by the time I was 25. I had a baby at 24, and she had a baby 9 months later.

Her baby is bi-racial, but she never really told me who the father was. I assumed that, given her groupie lifestyle, and the nice condo where she lived alone with the baby (with no job) meant she had had the baby with some sports player.

We still had no real relationship. She was just so different from me. Over time she moved out of the condo, and moved in with my mother. My sister has a decent job, her son is growing up to be a very sweet boy. My mother takes care of him, while my sister works. I heard occasional mention of his father. At some point he stopped really showing any interest in seeing his son. My sister stopped trying to maintain a relationship (like romantic), and started fighting for child support. I guess the child support order was for $160 a month. CRAZY! Safe to assume daddy wasn't a rich dude.

My mother called me yesterday to tell me that my nephew's father was shot. Apparently he was a drug dealer, informant, something. I don't really know. My sister was the only one on record that knew him (probably because of the child support order) and she was called to come identify the body. No one knew where he lived or anything.

So, they have asked me how to tell the son. I guess he is really sensitive about death lately. Like, he has asked when people die, how long people live, why parents die before their kids, etc. He has also written in his school journal that he misses his father--who stopped coming around much after my sister insisted he pay child support.

Well, my sister--who hasn't seen the inside of a church since we were kids, intends to tell her son that his father went to heaven. Heaven--you know, the place where people who are supposed to have accepted christ as their personal savior, and who have lived their lives in christlike ways. I have explained to her that if she doesn't believe these things, and live her life in this way, then it's absolutely BS to tell her son this, because it's not true. IF she believed in this stuff--he would NOT have gone to heaven. He was a bad guy--a drug dealer, a crappy father, a gangster, a loser. It makes me so mad that my sister will fall back on this, in order to avoid the truth--that someone tried to solve their problems with violence. Because of that, his father died. And, really, his father died because he made really bad choices, did bad things, and got in with the wrong people.

This was really the only place I could vent--I don't want to hurt my sister or my mother who are on facebook. The whole situation just sucks! Ugh.
Married, educated, atheist, mom of two girls.
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July 14th, 2011, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 149
That is a really sad story.

I think it will be difficult to tell the boy what happened no matter which way she decides to do it. But I agree with you, to tell him something you don't even believe is wrong. I think it might satisfy him for a moment but in the end it will just bring on more questions. Questions that will have answers that will not make him feel better (as you pointed out very well).

She should just tell him the truth in an age appropriate way.

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July 14th, 2011, 06:54 PM
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That is so sad.

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July 15th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 309
Thanks for listening guys! I know I haven't posted here in a while. I talked to my mother last night--and they decided to be more open in their answers about death BEFORE actually telling him what happened. He hasn't seen his father in quite some time, so it's not immediately necessary to tell him--especially since there won't actually be a funeral. He didn't have any real family--and certainly no one who could afford a funeral.

My mother told him yesterday that "Some people believe that when you die, you go on, but you're never actually who you were before." He said, "So, if my mommy died, she wouldn't come back to me by mommy?" She said, "No, her body would be buried, and we would be sad, but she would want us to still be happy in our lives."

I can't imagine going through this. I know my sister made bad choices--but she is really getting her life in order, and now her past choices are biting her in the butt, and will forever effect her son.
Married, educated, atheist, mom of two girls.

Last edited by 2kids2cats1dog; July 15th, 2011 at 11:24 AM.
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