death, christian, theism, atheism, atheist, fear,
It's the main difference between atheists and theists of any stripe, I think. Tell a Christian, for example, that you think death is the end, that there is nothing more, that people just cease to be at that point, and you're likely to end up getting a frothing-at-the-mouth lecture on heaven and hell. In fact, I suspect that there are a certain percentage of theists that don't really believe in supreme beings at all, but they're terrified at the idea of there being nothing after this.
It's almost impossible to express to someone that attached to the idea of an afterlife how not frightening atheists find the end to be. (Christians, btw, demand more heroic measures, and spend far more, in the last month of life than other groups*. I suspect this does not mean they don't believe in heaven, but rather that their belief in heaven is a symptom of their fear of death. I also don't think that atheists fear death less, but rather that people who fear death less are more likely to become atheists.)
Let me put it this way: Once you die, you're done. It's over. There's no more thinking, no more feeling, nothing. I know it's almost impossible to imagine nothing, but do you suppose a rock misses its family? Does your chair bemoan its fate as it gets moved about the room? Once you die, you're meat. Brisket doesn't complain.
I think people conflate the grief they feel at losing someone with what that someone might be feeling. Death is easy for the dead, it's hard on the living. Funerals aren't for dead people, dead people couldn't care less. Funerals are for the living, to help in their grieving. I am mystified at people that plan their own funerals, or demand this location or that song. I've always told my family to do whatever makes them feel better. I'll be dead, I won't be capable of caring. If they want to play country music, dress me up like a 70s disco queen and read the entire bible at the funeral, more power to 'em. I won't be there.
*wish I could find that link.