I love words. They have power, they let us play with communication. A full vocabulary allows you to be specific and descriptive. But words can also allow for cover ups, for dancing around the issue.
So. Let's talk about euphemisms.
They're a way of talk about something uncomfortable a bit more gently.
Euphemisms are substitution of an inoffensive word or phrase for something generally considered offensive or insensitively explicit. It's good talk, it's literally the opposite of blaspheme, evil talk.
doing it, hook up, sleep with - have sex
expecting, knocked up - pregnant
full figured, big boned - fat
What about death?
Kick the bucket, buy the farm, at rest, give up the ghost, six feet under. These are rather silly ones and there are a million others.
But the one I don't like, really don't like, is passed away.
I hate that people say my mom passed away. I hate that my mother in law passed on. I hate it. I hate that in order to make the horrible truth that we are half-orphans palatable we have to say something more gentle and kinder.
Our moms didn't pass away. They fucking died. They died. And that's that.
No amount of soft talk makes that better or gentler or OK. I want to shock people with the shocking words of "died" and "dead" because you know what? It is shocking. It's still shocking a year later. It's shocking to me and I want other people to be startled by the unkindness of that word. It's hard and harsh and real. And it's true.
I'm sorry that the word died makes people uncomfortable but, that's the way the world is. It's uncomfortable when your mom dies. So your faint-heartedness can suck it.