Desperate to avoid (dealing with) death

Recently I spoke at a conference of Retirement Community Chaplains. My thesis was that people who deal with the vicissitudes of life best tend to deal best with the reality of death. There are 72-year-old men and women who seem to be surprised when their ninety-year-old parent dies. Death happens. Living beings have a 100% mortality rate.

One of the sidebar conversations initiated by the chaplains concerned the euphemisms people use to distance themselves from the certainty of death. I think I would prefer to kick the bucket or croak rather than merely to pass on or cross over. My list is not exhaustive, but long enough to demonstrate our resistance to acknowledging that human life has a termination point. Interestingly, medical and religious people may be the worst at avoiding the obvious.

Asleep in Jesus

Breathed his/her last

Came to his end

Communing with the angels

Crossed over

Departed this life

Didn’t make it

Entered eternal rest

Entered into his reward


God called him home

His hour had come

In Abraham’s bosom

Laid to rest

Lost her life

Made her last curtain call

Met his Maker

Negative patient care outcome

No longer with us

Out of her misery


Passed away

Passed on

Resting in peace

Slipped away

Stopped breathing



Went to the Happy Hunting Grounds

With God now

Marion Aldridge

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Marion D. Aldridge is a popular preacher, public speaker, workshop leader and an award-winning writer. Author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on topics ranging from religion to sports to travel, Aldridge’s interests are wildly eclectic. Aldridge has invested a lifetime in discovering what it means to be a citizen and participant in God’s wonderful world. Aldridge is at home whether having High Tea at Harrods or rafting on the Chattooga or worshiping at our planet’s holiest shrines.

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