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...to hate the way that people talk about "passing"

(325 Posts)
Squeegle Sat 13-Feb-16 18:09:57

It just seems so weird and, dare I say it, fake touchy feely. People now don't seem to say died, they refer to passing. As in, "My grandmother passed last year", or they have both passed now. Why can't people just say she died. I find it very odd, and don't understand when it all started. People would occasionally use "passed away", when I was growing up as a bit of a euphemism - but now it feels as if people are scared to say the word die. AIBU?

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:11:25

Well maybe they do find the word die upsetting. Bereaved people can use any word they want IMO. YABU

ShamefulPlaceMarker Sat 13-Feb-16 18:11:53

Yanbu. It's like people think that saying died is rude or something. But it's not! Is it?

Samcro Sat 13-Feb-16 18:12:43

i say die and passing used to annoy me.....until I saw a thread on here and read it....now I say up to the bereaved what they say
so sorry yabu as I was

HerBigChance Sat 13-Feb-16 18:13:42

I've always known it as Pass On, or Pass Away. I don't mind the euphemism in itself, but Passed, on its own, sounds odd to me.

TealLove Sat 13-Feb-16 18:14:59

I agree

Squeegle Sat 13-Feb-16 18:15:12

Yes, of course bereaved people can say what they want, I'm just confused about where this strange phrase "passed" came from

hmcAsWas Sat 13-Feb-16 18:15:42

I agree that it is entirely up to the bereaved what they say....but at the same time, I don't like it either

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sat 13-Feb-16 18:16:55

I prefer the word die - I think it avoids ambiguity (person to my grandmother; "She's lost her dh". My grandma's reply, "Oh, I do hope she finds him soon,") But that's a personal preference. Euphemisms are part of our language - and, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether we say a person has died, kicked the bucket or passed over - the message is still the same.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 13-Feb-16 18:16:56

It's up to the individual how they want to talk about it.

I find the whole 'passed' thing to be very American, I've known DH's family who are American to say it, but it's creeping in here in the UK now, other than that I can't say I've given it too much thought.

Samcro Sat 13-Feb-16 18:18:01

I was watching american pickers and a man on there said it. I had not heard it before so assumed it was an american thing.
over here it tends to be passed on or passed away.
he just said passed

hiddenhome2 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:18:54

I'm a nurse and the societal inability to accept death as a normal part of life can actually undermine care of the dying. Relatives who refuse to accept that their loved one is nearing end of life can mean that inappropriate care is given. Doctors and other staff often find it hard to be assertive in these cases.

It is deeply frustrating and can mean the needs of the dying person are forgotten. I have detected a significant change in people's attitudes towards death over the past 25 years.

I have nursed a close relative through their terminal illness, so I am aware of how distressing it is.

PitilessYank Sat 13-Feb-16 18:21:53

My mother hated euphemisms. I once heard her yell:

"Don't use euphemisms or neologisms in this house!" at my older brother.

Floisme Sat 13-Feb-16 18:21:56

I think you should be able to call it whatever you like but I do know what you mean. The word 'dead' is perfectly adequate and anyone who says I've 'passed' will get their arses kicked.

ToastDemon Sat 13-Feb-16 18:22:10

You know how you say the late Mr or Mrs So and So?
Where I grew up, people extrapolated that and if someone died, they would say "he is late".
Which caused some confusion on occasion.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 13-Feb-16 18:22:19

I don't like it because it has religious connotations, passing on to after life, but others prefer it. The words 'death' and 'died' can be quite emotive and I think people are just trying to be kind and tactful to the bereaved.

It's quite similar to how some people refer to cancer as 'the C-word' because they don't want to say it.

PitilessYank Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:20

Toast-did you grow up in Africa? I have had some African friends who say that.

Pidapie Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:25

My first language is not English so I may well be a minority here. I say "my mum passed away" rather than "my mum died" because "died" feels too harsh in English? In my own language I say "died".

tilliebob Sat 13-Feb-16 18:23:47

Well I lost my dad a few months ago and I can't say the D word. Shoot me. He's gone...I've lost him....what the fuck does it matter? The outcome is the same.

hiddenhome2 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:24:35

Language can form people's thoughts, emotions and actions.

Tartyflette Sat 13-Feb-16 18:25:14

YANBU. I completely agree, it's so mealy-mouthed. And fake sounding, as you say.
I think 'passed away' is OK -- it's quite traditional, perhaps a little old-fashioned but none the worse for that.
However, it's as if people are becoming afraid to say even that nowadays. They lower their voices, too! As in, 'when did he - pause - pass? ' in a special sort of tone.
And 'passed over' is even worse, unless you're a spiritualist.
I am quite happy to say my mother died, or my parents are both dead.
I recently have had to inform relatives of someone's death, and just used the words.... i'm sorry to tell you Uncle H died at the weekend.....
Simple words are the best.

CottonFrock Sat 13-Feb-16 18:27:36

I doubt anyone is proposing that recently bereaved users of twee euphemisms are given a brisk electric shock every time they use one. I do think, however, that it would be appalling if it came into general usage as a replacement for 'died'. It's pretty much the exact equivalent of those lower-middle-class types who insist their children say 'tinkle' and 'trump'.

I don't associate it with Americanness - I associate with the kind of 'spiritualist medium' type epitomised by the dreadful Doris Stokes, who peddled a kind of fuzzy, pastel Andrex puppy vision of what happens after you 'passed over' for cash.

CottonFrock Sat 13-Feb-16 18:28:26

'PASS over'.

MidnightVelvetthe5th Sat 13-Feb-16 18:30:09

To me there is a difference. Died means that their life ended. Passed means they passed from this life and journeyed on somewhere else so they still exist in some form.

I use died as I'm an atheist and my mum is in the ground, not in an afterlife anywhere.

But I can see the distinction.

hiddenhome2 Sat 13-Feb-16 18:30:40

Deathophobia needs to be addressed, particularly as we are facing losing the NHS. People who would formerly have survived will no longer do so due to lack of medical care.

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