To me personally I don't see how believing in an afterlife is going to help you get over a loss. It doesn't take away the pain. To me it is just a pacifier for adults. We are meant to show our emotions and through showing them we become stronger, not suppressing them because some guy in the sky promises that you will see him again. It angers me how in religion there is only one emotion: happiness. I don't see how by believing in a God that everything is ok. It doesn't take away the pain you feel. It doesn't just lift your sorrow away. It is a way of not having to deal with the pain and the reality of death.
I don't believe in any afterlife. I don't believe that I will ever see my grandfather again, but I believe he lives on through me and others. Through the people he touched and changed for the better. I believe through showing our grief we are showing our true respect for the dear friend or relative that we have lost. That is what I see when I think back on my grandfather. Just because I will never see him again does mean that I can't celebrate him. I believe in celebrating their lives and having true grief we are glorifying those we lose. We are turning them into the legends they were. They do not have to be forgotten or put on a shelf for later. They were there to inspire us and that is what my grandfather did for me.
He taught me to see the good in people. He taught me not to judge others just because of what religion they are a part or what color of skin they have. He taught me to look into people's hearts and look at their true selves before deciding on what that person is like. He taught me hard work. He taught me how to laugh and joke. He taught me how to help others. He taught me to give of myself. He taught me how to have a good time. He taught me how to love. These are the things I will pass on of my grandfather. These are the ways he will live through me. I will become my own legend to others as Louis Pete LeDuc was to those that he touched in his life.
We can eventually be happy and makes things better, but the way to do so is through our memories of those who have passed away. Live your life better through the good things you learned from those that have touched your life.
You made me a better man, Grandpa LeDuc. I will continue your legacy.