Thursday, 23 July 2015


I never thought I'd share a cat memorial post! Farewell Sally!
Photo not used with permission...
Euphemisms for death amuse me, which is probably not something that endears me to other people. I annoyingly always just think of the literal meaning. I'd never even heard of "crossed the bridge". I just think, "What's on the other side of 'the bridge'?" and "What's the use of a bridge if you can't turn around and come back?" and "Was it a cute little cat-sized paw bridge? Awww!"

Do expressions like 'passed away' and 'lost' actually soften the sledgehammer blow of death for people or are they just the epitome of our death denial culture or more likely a bit of both and hundreds of other factors? It still sounds overly direct to my brain saying "My grandmother is dead". But she is and no polite euphemism will resurrect her.
Surely death is something that we should come to terms with as it's pretty likely that we're all going to (at least biologically) die and, sorry gentle religious folk, but no amount of wishful thinking will make an afterlife or reincarnation a reality. (I'm 90% certain there's no after-life for the record) So I've been trying to avoid death euphemisms. I use "dead" or the rhyming slang "brown bread"; harsh, simple, direct language that even small children, once they have 'accidentally' put their pet hamster in the microwave to give it super powers, can understand.
If you'd like to go one step further than me and as long as you post the reaction videos, feel free to try to use more dysphemisms like "kicked the bucket" or "carked it" or, even better, make up your own expressions. At your next family function exclaim, "It's a real shame that old Aunty Nora 'shat herself for the last time' 2 years ago. I miss her." It will be good for your family and your Periscope viewers as it will encourage them to come to terms with their own mortality.

(The above being said, please, I implore you, don't try to convince me that I should stop using toileting euphemisms for the living using similar arguments. Now, I'm off to an important solo business meeting and may be some time.)

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