Language has always been incredibly important to me. When my Mom died this didn’t change. I became fixated on one particular word. Died.

I found myself inwardly cringing every time someone uttered, “passed away,” or “lost” instead of just spitting out what had actually happened… My Mom DIED.
I don’t know why I became obsessed with not using silly-seeming platitudes rather than just spitting out the obvious. I suppose I thought, “why use 2 or 3 words when one will suffice?”

I recall my husband suggesting I soften my language rather than using the word, “die,” so as not to offend anyone. I couldn’t bring myself to call what had happened to my mother anything other than what it was. It sucks that she died but saying something like, “passed away,” doesn’t make it suck any less.

Sometimes I think my insistence on using short, sharp language isn’t fair to others. Why, exactly, is this language surrounding death so important to me? What am I really so upset about when someone utters something like, “we lost great aunt Molly last year?”

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear your insights and stories.

K

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