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I often get messages from atheists who have lost a loved one and have no idea how to cope with it. There are lots of religious services available to them, but no secular ones. How do you deal with death, anyway, when you don’t believe in an afterlife or that this was part of some Master Plan?

I almost always direct those atheists to Rebecca Hensler who runs Grief Beyond Belief. She began that group after a personal loss and has helped a lot of people in similar situations ever since. The website is a wonderful collection of resources.

Hensler is now publishing a book called The Secular Grief Support Handbook that includes much of what she’s learned along the way:


It isn’t a self-help book; it’s a how-to-help-others book. In just about 50 pages, I have shared everything an organizer or organization needs to plan their own grief support event, whether it’s a one-time meeting or workshop, an ongoing peer-to-peer support group, or even a therapeutic group for those recently bereaved.

It’s a wonderful project. I have no doubt it’ll help a lot of people.

If you’d like the contribute anything to help make this project a reality, there’s an Indiegogo page right here. As of this writing, it’s already reached its goal, but you can pre-purchase your copy and get several other perks, too. There’s already a stretch goal to turn this into a physical book.

(Image via Shutterstock)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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