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Thread: Passing Away

  1. #1
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Passing Away

    This is probably very stupid, but it's on my mind and my filter hasn't been replaced in awhile, so it lets a lot of nonsense through.

    Today, once again, I heard someone talk about a person who "passed away." When I hear that expression, I cringe. Kidney stones pass away. People die. Why do we need a euphamism for dying? It's not a repugnant word. There are of course many religion inspired expressions for dying, like "meeting your maker" or "being at peace," or maybe even "passing on," all of which imply an afterlife, and I've got no problem with those even though I don't believe it. But passing away means exactly the same thing as dying with no spiritual implications. Dying is dying. Call it what it is.

    End of rant.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Passing Away

    I agree completely. It makes it seem like it's a more pleasant way of dying, but in actuality death is death. I do think though that the main reason people say it is b/c of the kind of death. When a person is murdered people say they were murdered. It's usually when people die from natural causes that they say the person passed away. I know exactly what you mean though.
    Curtis Chenoweth
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  3. #3
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    Thank you, Curtis.
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    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    People "die" in auto accidents. Grandpas and Grandmas just..... "pass away". I sense that is the connotation. Sudden and unexpected versus, your time has come to.....pass on.

  5. #5
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    Quote Originally Posted by RYou View Post
    People "die" in auto accidents. Grandpas and Grandmas just..... "pass away". I sense that is the connotation. Sudden and unexpected versus, your time has come to.....pass on.
    I understand and agree that "passed away" usually refers to a natural death rather than a violent or unnatural one. Pased away is a kinder sounding death, but either way, the person died. And not all natural passing on's are as peaceful as they are made to sound. I think that my objection to the phrase is that it is intended to sugar coat the event to make it more palatable. This, to me, is a distortion of reality.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Passing Away

    I agree Spider... another that bothers me is the comment of putting a dog "to sleep". Obviously not on the same level, but similar usages (both of which are off base, IMO)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    A death of a loved one can be traumatic, even when it is expected. We go through those phases of denial, anger, etc. I think softened phrases are appropriate unless they're made disingenuously.

    After Grandpa died back in the 60s, I remember looking at the Grandma's bible, where she had set down the family tree. She had written next to his name, "deceased". I thought at the time (somewhere between age 8 and 10), "what an odd word".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    A death of a loved one can be traumatic, even when it is expected. We go through those phases of denial, anger, etc. I think softened phrases are appropriate unless they're made disingenuously.

    After Grandpa died back in the 60s, I remember looking at the Grandma's bible, where she had set down the family tree. She had written next to his name, "deceased". I thought at the time (somewhere between age 8 and 10), "what an odd word".
    Perhaps true when speaking to someone who has recently lost a loved one, but when I heard the phrase today (and most of the time), it was used to refer to the death of someone not close to anyone in the room.

    Deceased is just a fancy word for dead, and either is okay with me. I think it only applies to humans.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Passing Away

    Perhaps true when speaking to someone who has recently lost a loved one, but when I heard the phrase today (and most of the time), it was used to refer to the death of someone not close to anyone in the room.

    On that distinction, I can better see your point.

    Deceased is just a fancy word for dead

    Yes, it's more formal. And that's undoubtedly what Grandma thought was appropriate on the occasion of her annotation.

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