Words to Live by…

My fellow blogger, Harper Faulkner, wrote a post entitled Grave Matters about a local funeral home and crematory advertising their Planned Transitions Portfolio.

What pleasant euphemisms we use these days.  Until now, I had noticed that, more and more, people would say that someone had passed.  They didn’t pass away but rather they passed.  I’m not sure what they passed and I don’t want to know.  What I am certain they didn’t pass was the cemetery or the crematorium.  What is the premium we gain by this economy of words to shorten death, neither by dying, nor by passing away but now by just passing?

Where is Uncle Fred?  I haven’t seen him for weeks.  Oh, Uncle Fred, he passed.  Passed?  Passed what?  He passed for living until a few weeks ago but now he passes for not-living.  These are the same people who economize by asking me for my social instead of my social security number.  What is your social, they ask me?  On a scale of one to ten, it’s about a two.  How about you?  What’s your social?

Forget passing.  Forget social.  We can now transition.  So, how are you Curmudgeon?  I’m transitioning, thank you.  I could also be trainspotting or transforming or translyvaniaing.  I may be doing all of these together.

In earlier days, I kicked the bucket; crossed over; bought the farm; took a dirt nap; pushed up daisies; rested in peace; went to meet my maker; shuffled off this mortal coil; slept with the fishes; ran down the curtain; cashed in; checked out; danced the last dance; played the last hand; gave up the ghost; got a one-way ticket and became living-challenged.

I used to be deceased, extinct, inanimate, stone dead, demised, expired, stiff, belly up, buried, cold, departed, defunct and done for.

I bought a pine condo, went into the fertilizer business and returned to the ground.

I paid Charon’s fare, crossed the river Styx and wandered the Elysian Fields.

But now, I do not die.  Nor do I pass.  Now I transition.


He was a comedian; it’s not the first time he died transitioned. 

–Mark Russell’s epitaph


P.S.  Harper Faulkner has demanded a 10% inspiration fee for this post.  I would just send flowers.

26 responses to “Words to Live by…

  1. So I was born transitioning. Doesn’t have the same ring.

  2. Pingback: Freshly Impressed | Curmudgeon at Large

  3. I have fooled a number of people by faking life. I was not even aware of closing fees. Oh, brother, this is costing me big time.

  4. Well I have made the transition to following your blog. Funny, it feels very much allive. You now owe Harper 10% plus a 2% intro/closing fee. Nice to meet you on this side!

  5. Great post! I know HF claims the inspiration fee, but you take the cake. 🙂

    I’ve always used “died” in conversation, and it’s amazing how often people give a little twitch and glare as if I’ve said something inappropriate. Maybe I should switch to “bit the big one” instead. Think that’d help?

  6. You know what is one of my favorites is, “We lost Aunt Louise.” At the mall? Where is she? Although we thought we had lost my dad after he DIED but the funeral home had moved to a new address. That was going to be an awkward story.

  7. “Till transition do us part.”–Has a nice ring to it for sure! 😉

  8. I plan on becoming a star.

  9. When someone in my family croaks I am not afraid to tell people, “Aunt Gert DIED.” That’s what she did, she died. She did not PASS go and she did not collect $200 because she died.

    Wonderfully funny post, thanks!

  10. Pingback: Words to Live by… | Harper Faulkner

  11. I plan to buy my rainbow when I die.

  12. In lieu of flowers, I have sent a donation to my favorite charity.

    The Birdman was just talking about the passed today in fact. Either the universe is well-aligned or doomsday for bloggers is nigh.

  13. I think you’re underestimating the size of your social.
    This had me laughing, CaL- very funny.

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