Anyway, when it comes to death, it's the only time I envy Christians, it must be so nice believing your life goes on after death. I do secretly like to think there is an afterlife but my brain is such a buzzkill in those moments.
I'm not a practising Christian, Mark, but thanks to a few experiences I've had after the death of immediate family, I do believe in an afterlife, albeit as a period of transition from one life to the next, although it certainly won't be life as we knew it, which is why death does make me feel apprehensive.
Also Christianity doesn't focus entirely on the idea of Hell. It's just done by the church as a way of trying to scare us into being nice, good, wholesome people. How boring! Some so-called venial sins are perfectly acceptable to me, so long as they don't hurt others.
I think when someone dies you should mourn them, but that's it. They are gone, they are at peace. Stop reminding yourself that they are dead by saying "it's been one year". It's morbid. Remember their live and tell stories about them. Don't carry on mourning. This irritates me. Might sound insensitive and you can argue that I don't know what it feels like to lose someone close coz I guess I've "been lucky".
You won't really know how you'll react until you've been tested, but I do agree that the grieving process can be taken a bit too far. A psychologist once told me that most people grieve on average for about two years. But a lot must depend on the person and the circumstances of the death of a loved one - e.g. the loss of a child must be incredibly hard for the parents to bear.
I think that's the same for most people but certainly not me, I worry about it enough that I will totally see it coming, not sure if that's a good or bad thing though.
I used to worry about it too at times but, believe me, unless you're very unlucky, the process is so gradual and so natural that you'll barely notice it happening.