When you were young, if you tried something and failed, did anyone ever say to you if whatever you tried was easy, everyone would do it? Not correct! Dying isn’t easy and everybody does that. Depending on how fast you go, dying can be easy or hard on you, but it’s always hard on the loved ones you leave behind, assuming anyone does love you.
Everyone dies and everyone experiences grief and a sense of loss that accompanies the death of someone we care about or even a much-loved pet. But when we talk about dying, we dance all around it. He passed away. We lost her. He kicked the bucket. She met her maker. There are endless euphemisms; I won’t bore you. I’m kind of fond of saying someone reached ambient temperature. It takes a lot of people a long time to figure out what that means. If we’re not going to be direct, I say obfuscate as much as humanly possible.
The usage that baffles me about death is what happens afterwards; she will be missed. How do you know that, unless you are going to miss the deceased? If you are planning to miss him, why not do it right now instead of putting it off? Miss him now, not later. Or miss her both now, and later. Just don’t wait to start. How long would it be appropriate to wait anyway?
I barely speak English. Do they do that in other languages too?
I used to be nuts about death. I would insist that when I die I didn’t want a wake. Personally, I think Shiva is much more civilized than a wake. Jewish people bury the deceased right away, usually the same day. Then they gather at the home of the survivors and remember the one who is no longer there. Irish Americans like me tend to stuff the old bat and have a party.
I don’t worry about it anymore. I haven’t been very good at controlling what goes on around me while alive, so when I die, I’m going to stop trying. Maybe I’ll stop trying before that. Whatever ritual surrounds the demise of someone is to comfort those left alive. They should do what comforts them, not what would have comforted the person who died if they were still around. So, the survivors should decide what happens and the dead person should relax and stay out of it.