About the Book

If you don't believe in God or an afterlife—how do you cope with death?

Accepting death is never easy. But we don't need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

Blending intensely personal experience with compassionate, down-to-earth wisdom, Christina (Coming Out Atheist and Why Are You Atheists So Angry?) explores a variety of natural philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than illusion, shatters the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes—and tells how humanism got her through one of the grimmest times of her life.

Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, on topics including atheism, sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBT issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind. She is the author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry? and Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why.

About the Author

“In this book Greta Christina tackles the subject of death with the insight of a philosopher and the relaxed candor of a friend—that really cool, intelligent friend who understands and cares.”

—David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right


ISBN: 9781939578181 (paperback)

SRP: $9.95 (paperback)

Page count: 104 pages

Trim size: 4.75 x 7

Pub date: September 1, 2015

“This is a book about the philosophy of death that actually confronts the practical reality of it, and helps you come to practical terms with it. . . . The best book on the atheist philosophy of death you are likely ever to read.”

Richard Carrier, author of On the Historicity of Jesus

“When I was very young, I lost someone close to me in a car accident. Almost more painful than the loss was the way by which those around me attempted to find meaning in the senseless death of a young person. This is the book that seven-year-old me needed instead of the endless religious tracts that assured me that everything happens for a reason.”

Heina Dadabhoy, Heinous Dealings

“Bravo, Greta Christina. Your book is a feat of logic, wisdom, compassion, insight, humor, and lived experience presented in the most accessible way. Your ideas are compelling and I wish your words could be made available in hotel rooms everywhere, tucked into the drawer of the nightstand, in addition to hospital waiting rooms, train and bus stations, airports and classrooms. Death is certainly a Big Deal but humanism and non-belief have plenty of comfort to offer, as you so eloquently have put forth. In short, ‘What she said.’”

Nina Hartley, author of Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex

“Greta Christina’s new book transcends merely ‘enjoyable.’ Joy, tranquility, truth—I feel these while reading it.”

Brianne Bilyeu, Biodork

“Atheism frees us to craft our own meaning for life, but we must still confront the specter of death. In this brief-yet-essential volume, Greta Christina presents an array of humanist perspectives that provide very real comfort and meaning in the face of death.”

Neil Wehneman, Development Director, Secular Student Alliance

“Greta Christina continues to provide unique advice and information to the growing community of seculars. We all need to consider our mortality and learn positive and productive ways to deal with our inevitable deadline. Thanks for this little book of wisdom. Christina has written a handbook we can all use. But it should be in the hands of every hospital and military chaplain, every hospice care giver, even ministers, etc. No secular person should be subjected to supernatural ideas and wishful thinking when they are dealing with death, dying and grief.”

Darrel Ray, Founder, Recovering from Religion

“Reading this book felt like one of those moments, standing in a dark and silent room, when glass powder strikes red phosphorous and turns a little of it into white phosphorous, which causes a match to light up in a warming flame. I want to show it (the book, not the match) to all my friends who are dealing with death, which is of course all of my friends. Thank you for writing it!”

Greg M. Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University

Advance Praise