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I have written more than once about the “d” word avoidance our culture seems to practice. And when someone dies from cancer, I still say, it’s downright insulting to say so and so lost her battle with cancer. Irks the heck out of me. Do you ever wonder why so many work so hard to avoid using words like died, death, dying? I sure wonder.
And then there’s that phrase often used when a person (generally a woman, right?) dies that goes something like, so and so got her wings last night.
I mean, really?
Got her wings?
Every time I hear this particular phrase, I think about the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. I love this movie. It’s one of my favorite holiday classics and Dear Hubby and I try to watch it every year. Even if you hate this movie or have never seen it, you likely know Clarence, an angel, gets his wings at the end of the movie. And yes, I think it’s sweet and all that, but it’s a movie. Sweet and sappy work in a movie.
When talking about real life and real death, saying someone got her wings, sounds flippant and annoying to me.
I suppose we say this sort of thing to take some of the heaviness out of
the situation death. Saying, so and so got her wings, isn’t so dark, so bleak, so final, or something.
To be clear, I am certainly not implying others should not use this phrase if they want to. If the phrase makes you feel better, by all means, use it. I am merely sharing how hearing it makes me feel. And I am wondering if anyone else cringes when they hear it.
Maybe I’m just an oddball. (probably)
And btw, I love angels. I even have a collection of angel ornaments and figurines.
Dear Hubby and I have actually joked around about this. When I am being highly annoying (I know, hard to imagine, right?) he teases that should I die before him, he will say in my obituary that I lost my battle, or got my wings. Yes, we’re weird. I know.
As I’ve also written about before, when someone dies, why not just say the person died?
If the cause is known, why not just say what the person died from be it old age, a heart attack, cancer, a self-inflicted wound, a car accident, or whatever? And yes, saying a person took her/his own life is acceptable to say, too, or should be, because truth should always be acceptable, even when talking about death.
Perhaps especially then.
What do you think?
How do you react to the phrase, so and so got her wings?
Do you avoid using the “d” words or do you make a conscious effort to use them?