Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Two interesting themes expressed by Atheists and reiterated on this thread:
A) Atheists to often miss the sense of culture, family, and community created by a religion.
B) Death is a common motif on both sides.
In regards to A), like the Dali Lama said, Compassion and Ethics are the water, religion and faith is the tea. Religion the spice which makes the tea more fulfilling and satisfying than plain water, however many human beings survive just fine only on water. That being said, so long as atheists are compassionate and ethical rather than egoistical and vitriolic (I.E. the ever mercurial Dawkins/Hitchkens crowd) then their life will be fine, but if they are atheists simply to argue against religion, that is neither compassionate towards the religious or even ethically sound in the sense of common human decency of mutual respect and tolerance (by the way, it goes both ways, we religious folks equally need to be compassionate to atheists and skeptics).
In regards to B), it seems only natural that atheists may be even MORE comfortable with death than religious folks, once they ascribe to negating the possibility of an afterlife. If this life is all there is, then that is simply that. One thing human beings are really good at is pragmatically accepting the limits of our reality. If we are going to die, we are going to die and that is that! Now religious folks who believe in an afterlife have a different mindset, death is only a transition, but life continues in some way. This is an altogether different challenge, now the actions of our current lives can have seemingly eternal consequences and repurcussions? If death is final, then there is sincerely nothing to be afraid of, because if you stop existing at death what realistically is there to fear? Death becomes completely unavoidable, and so in true to human form, we can accept this inevitably with a certain sense of stoicism. After all, what can we do to stop it? Whereas the religious mind views the afterlife as a reality, and so the actions of this life have reverberations into the next life, and that can cause a lot of tension, anxiety, and even fear of death. I personally believe that human beings are only afraid of death because we commonly believe in an afterlife so death is not final, more so its just another continuation of the wild roller coaster of unexpected happenings which mark the human experience. We have no control of a lot of factors in our lives, and that makes us afraid, and we certainly have little control over the afterlife, or do we?
See, from my perspective, those that fear death are those who fear the afterlife because these are control freaks. Human beings need to have control in a primal sense. Our ultimate fear is a complete lack of power or control. We even try to control God by manipulating Him with the idea that if we please His will through this good deed or that good action, then we can manipulate God into giving into our Will and supplying us with an agreeable afterlife. However that is wrong. We should not try to control the afterlife anymore than we can control this life. We can not earn our way into Heaven, and we cant avoid our way out of Hell. Realistically, it seems that human preoccupation with the afterlife is an extension of our control-freak mentality and approach to this current life, if we think we can control this life we think we can control the afterlife as well. This is simply up to Grace of God, just as all matters of our current lives are. We are never in control, God is always leading. So we in Christianity learn to accept God's Will, both in this life and the next, where as a certain preoccupation with being "saved" or a certain fear of "going to hell" I feel are actually reflections of an inner battle for control. Humans need to relinquesh control, both in this life and the next, to God.
In this way, atheists actually have one up on Christians in that seemingly they have accepted the reality of their deaths. They are not trying to vie for control of their afterlife, they are accepting reality as it occurs. They have relinqueshed control to reality, and they don't even realize that reality is God, whereas we Christians supposedly are trying to submit to God and yet man folks are trying their hardest by force of will to determine the outcome of future events outside of our control. We clearly have much to mutually learn from each other about death and dying then don't we.