Navigating Death, Loss, and Mortality
Updated: May 17, 2020
We receive such confusing messages about death. People don’t even like using the words death, dying, or dead, and instead use other words or turns of phrase that contribute to our confusion. These euphemisms only hinder our understanding and acknowledgement about “death”. It’s so important to start having direct and honest conversations about death, loss and mortality, by using accurate and appropriate language for a particular situation.
Younger children, for instance, aren’t yet able to fully understand that when a person dies it is forever, that they don’t come back to life. They need to clearly hear that people are no longer physically present and cannot come back. We might use sentences like: “Daddy died and he’s in heaven now” for those who might want to incorporate religious beliefs, or “People die when they are very sick and their isn’t any more medicine to help them” for those who might be affected by a chronic illness.