They Aren't "Lost", They "Died"

At the end of every calendar year, there is always a published list and photos of "famous" people who died.  There are also lists of movie stars who died during production of a film.

Interestingly, the headline usually states that these people were "lost".  Why do we, as a society, have such a difficult time using the words "death", "dead" or "died"?

Isn't that what actually happened to them?

These celebrities are not lost, nor are they even missing. Didn't these celebrities die?

When thinking about someone who is "lost", don't you think that they are missing in the woods or in snowy valleys off ski trails,  or on some unbeaten mountain trail after they manged to stray off course?

Recently, a family of six averted "death" after being "lost" for 48 hours after a car accident in Nevada.  The adults used great survival skills and ingenuity to keep everyone alive. They did not die.

"Lost" does not automatically mean "dead".

So why are we averse to using the words "death", "dead" or "died"?

Some reasons why we avoid using the word "death" are:

  1. It  is permanent
  2. It is blunt
  3. It is harsh
  4. It makes us fearful

To lighten the topic of using the word death, Lebanon Valley College website has provided us with the following list of euphanisms for use, in an indirect and vague way, when you want to speak about death without actually using the word death!

Some of these are familiar, others were new to me!

  • ate it
  • belly up
  • bereft of life
  • biting the biscuit
  • bought the farm
  • breathed the last breath
  • came to an end
  • ceased to be
  • changed form
  • checked out
  • closed shop
  • croaked
  • crossed over the bar
  • dearly departed
  • deceased
  • defunct
  • expired
  • expired
  • extinct
  • faded away
  • fallen off the perch
  • followed the light
  • game over
  • gave up the ghost
  • gone north
  • gone south
  • gone to Davy Jones' locker
  • gone to feed the fishes
  • gone to his narrow bed
  • gone to the clearing at the end of the path
  • gone west
  • in limbo
  • in repose
  • in the bone yard
  • in the crisper
  • inanimate
  • joined the majority
  • kicked the bucket
  • laid down their burden
  • left a vacant chair
  • left the building
  • lifeless
  • meeting the repo man
  • no longer with us
  • no more
  • off the twig
  • on a permanent vacation
  • passed
  • passed away
  • passed over
  • paying a debt
  • perished
  • perished
  • played a losing hand
  • resting in peace
  • sang his swan song
  • shuffled off the mortal coil
  • sleeping with the fishes]
  • stiff
  • stone cold
  • succumbed
  • taking an extended rest
  • taking the great cat nap
  • tapped out
  • took a harp
  • turned his face to the wall
  • turned up his toes
  • using his one way ticket
  • vaporized
  • wasted
  • with the reaper
  • withered

Let's strive to be more comfortable using a clear descriptive word when our loved ones die. I do understand why euphamisms are sometime used to replace words describing"death".

"Kicked the bucket" is my favorite one.  Do you have a favorite? Share with me!