D. E. A. D.
This has been hanging on my mind for awhile. And our inability as a society to say it. To acknowledge it even.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary it is someone who is no longer alive. That they have ceased to exist as the person you knew. It is a noun. It is an adjective, a description at times.
As a society we dress up the word in euphemisms. Passed is one. That person has passed. To some it may be a polite way of saying dead. To me it is stark reminder that as a society we do not deal well with death.
Oh, the patient in that room had a code blue. The patient coded. Also a euphemism for health care workers. That means the patient had a cessation of heartbeat and breathing. And we snatched them back from the maws of death. Or we didn’t, but we tried.
Even the famed M&M, or morbidity and mortality, conference that hospitals do to discuss less than ideal outcomes dresses up the word. Hell, at least they address it and how to make the system better.
Are we so afraid of death that we are unable to face the realities of it head on?
Death is not polite. It rarely comes knocking and you never know when it is your turn.
In hiding the word, society makes ourselves feel better. If we don’t say it, it is not happening. But it is. No need to dress up the word that happens to everybody. To quote Benjamin Franklin “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” None of us are getting out of this alive.
It is time to have more open conversations around the word dead. Because sometimes the used euphemism is misconstrued and misunderstanding takes place. And I cannot think of anything worse.