Monday, June 02, 2008

What a way to go! Or - What? A way to go?

Stephanie Hayes addresses the many ways in which families say their loved ones left the planet, walked out of their wheelchairs and into the arms of the Lord and other euphemisms for "died" in her article, 'Dying' is just not good enough anymore, in the June 1, 2008, edition of the St. Petersburg Times.

She writes: The more we avoid thinking about the big sleep, the more numb we become, said Michael Knox, a University of South Florida professor who has taught courses about, um, blank and blanking.

Stephanie adds: Spiritual euphemisms crossed over, entered eternal life can be comforting to those who believe existence continues after we leave our earthly vessels.

"When the culture believes there is something after death, it keeps them going," Knox said.

While writing obits for the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, I've encountered lots of staunch Christians, who insist that the dearly departed has "gone on to be with the Lord."

I usually tell them that, although their sainted loved one may have lived an exemplary Christian life that suggests that what they say is true, I can't write in a news obituary that someone is in heaven.

I can't verify it. I don't have a phone number for Jesus' heavenly mansion or St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. And our long distance lines don't reach that far anyway.

1 comment:

Kay Powell said...

Here's my favorite euphemism for "died":
"On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1996, God saw fit for Brother Morris Sloane Sr. to tell him all about it."

My sister, Martha Coppage, called me right after I took the obits job at the AJC and read it to me from my hometown newspaper, The Valdosta Daily Times.

I haven't found one to top it.
Kay Powell