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"When he passed" - AIBU to think WTF?

(424 Posts)
TheClitterati Sun 17-May-20 12:42:43

Seems everything uses "passed" instead of died now. On the radio, in conversations, on MN, online. I expected to see statistics of those who passed from covid 19 any day now.

He passed. When she passed. She passed 20 years ago. Anniversary of his passing.

Seems to have snuck up on me & I find it very annoying. Plus - so many questions! Where did this come from? Why do people use it so widely? Is it now unacceptable or uncouth to talk of death? Where are all these people passing to? Did Fred West & Hitler pass also or it it just people we think kindly of who pass? Are we now to speak of the passing of Diana? The day Prince passed?

I didn't mind in occasional use- people can express themselves as they like. I understand why someone might refer to the death of a loved one this way. But it does seem to now be THE way to reference the death of anyone at all.

AIBU to think it's ok to talk about death and people dying. Has mention of death become unspeakable?

OP’s posts: |
TabbyStar Sun 17-May-20 12:50:41

I don't like this either, also "We lost him" makes me want to ask where they last saw him, like misplaced keys. My DF died a few months ago and I definitely just said "My dad died".

44PumpLane Sun 17-May-20 12:57:29

I think it's a gentler way of referring to people dying.

The news is full of reports of death every day, I know this is fairly commonplace for the news but this is different.... This is the guy down the street from you, that lady who lives next door to your hairdresser etc

I think saying someone has passed is helping people cope, and if it helps I don't begrudge it.

amusedbush Sun 17-May-20 13:00:18

I don’t like saying ‘when your mum died’ to DH, it feels very blunt. She died very unexpectedly when he was 27 and he was devastated, so it just feels kinder to say ‘when your mum passed away’.

I don’t see what the issue is.

m0therofdragons Sun 17-May-20 13:00:52

I work in a hospital and one member of staff sends us updates about bed state etc and always puts “guests in mortuary”. Yes, she calls dead people guests. I really can’t quite articulate how much I hate it.

pigsDOfly Sun 17-May-20 13:02:17

Irritates me as well.

When I hear people use it I always think it sounds like they're implying that the dead person has passed 'over' into another dimension in the way that a 'medium' might use it.

I do think there's an element of that: dead sounds very final, which a lot of people feel very uncomfortable about. Passing, I suppose is a more 'gentle' euphemism, implying, perhaps that the person is still sort of floating around somewhere.

I believe that when you're dead, you're dead so that's the word I use.

However, attitudes to death are very strange nowadays and people will express shock at even extremely old people dying, as if death always comes as a surprise regardless of advanced age.

Rose789 Sun 17-May-20 13:02:24

It’s a gentler way of saying died. I prefer that to lost.
A few years ago I was training a new starter so plugged in listening to their call. Little old lady on the phone said she had lost her husband and quick as a flash the just turned 18 year old said oh I’m sorry I hope you find him soon.

BanKittenHeels Sun 17-May-20 13:02:33

I always use the word “died”. I often have to tell relatives their loved one has died, I like there to be absolute clarity and no room for confusion.

VettiyaIruken Sun 17-May-20 13:02:38

People think it is a more sensitive term. It's well meant I think

Pelleas Sun 17-May-20 13:03:05

I prefer 'died' but in any conversation I will take the lead from the bereaved person and use whatever terminology they seem to prefer. I think 'passed' for someone with spiritual beliefs reflects the idea that the person has passed over to another plane (or to heaven) so I can understand why some people prefer it.

Herpesfreesince03 Sun 17-May-20 13:04:01

It’s a less harsh way of saying it. I don’t mind using ‘dead’ or ‘died’ myself. I wouldn’t use those words when taking to someone else about someone they’d lost

recycledteenager24 Sun 17-May-20 13:05:20

where i used to work the 'guests' were referred to as 'stiffs' that's even worse imo, especially when the morg was full and it was the joke that we'd need to clear out the industrial freezers for storage.

opticaldelusion Sun 17-May-20 13:05:49

Not a fan of euphemisms at all. 'Died' is my preference, although 'passed' or 'passed away' is the best of a bad bunch.

'Lost' is terrible.

AnnofPeeves Sun 17-May-20 13:05:54

I think 'passed away' has always been quite a common euphemism in the UK, but 'passed' seems to have arrived from America. It's such a vague term.

TW2013 Sun 17-May-20 13:06:56

I always think of mediums when I hear that phrase. If people grieving find it easier to say then it's fine by me though.

OneandTwenty Sun 17-May-20 13:09:15

When people talk about their loved ones, I am neutral as you chose whatever makes it easier.

If they think passing away is more gentle than dying, why not even if I don't get it.

I just can't stand when people talk about MY losses, refuse to acknowledge facts, and keep going on my "baby born sleeping". She wasn't sleeping, she was dead. So fuck off with your sleeping. I do accept I might be slightly irrational here.

Justmuddlingalong Sun 17-May-20 13:09:44

I prefer died. Passed is for wind and the parcel IMHO.

Cosyjimjamsforautumn Sun 17-May-20 13:09:48

A friend was admitted last week to local hospital with the virus. DB texted me that "we've lost X" and I thought he meant our friend had died. What DB meant was he was ringing round and couldn't locate him via admissions in the hospital. DB got an earful for scaring us all!
Friend located and now slowly improving...

Aridane Sun 17-May-20 13:12:25

YABVU - whatever language helps for the bereaved, let them use the language that gives them solace

Babyroobs Sun 17-May-20 13:12:53

I hate the phrase. I worked in a hospice for 13 years and always used the words died rather than passed away when explaining to relatives that their love done had died.

GertiMJN Sun 17-May-20 13:13:31

"Passed away" had been a common phrase as long as I can remember but I think of "passed" as more recent and stemming from American?

I agree it sounds more like moved to another place rather than passed away and gone.

I prefer died, but would use passed away if uncertain how the bereaved person felt. Wi would never use "passed"

billandbeninsanfrancisco Sun 17-May-20 13:14:06

I lost my Mum two years ago. It’s how it feels. I can’t bring myself to express it any other way. I am not confused about her status, but it is how it feels. If people hard it I don’t really care.

The hospice she was in, and the funeral home, both talked of guests (after the event). I found it hugely comforting.

MilkTrayLimeBarrel Sun 17-May-20 13:14:42

I come from a Doctor's family and we always called a spade a spade. I don't like the term 'passed' or 'passed over' or any twee term for the real word.

CaptainButtock Sun 17-May-20 13:15:47

Me too. Can't even stand 'passed away'.

No they didn't 'pass' anywhere...they died.

AnnaMagnani Sun 17-May-20 13:15:59

In the hospice world it's always died. Any new staff member who turns up and uses passed or some such euphemism gets gently told to stop.

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