"They would have to acknowledge that, in terms of consolation, there is no comparison between 'The dead do not suffer' and 'Your child lives on, and you will be reunited with her.'"
Fine. I readily acknowledge that atheism doesn't offer much in the way of consolation but that doesn't make your religion true. Is the purpose of religion to ease suffering?
For me, the lack of an afterlife makes this life MORE precious, not less. The fact that a human life only takes up a "tiny speck of time" is not an atheist-only view. Don't you also believe that our life is short compared to the eternal afterlife?
I choose to do what I can to make THIS life better for those around me. Is that so bad?