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How to Talk About Death in English

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How to Talk About Death in English: A Live Lesson with Native Speakers!.

Why do you think death is often a taboo subject?
Do you think openly discussing death can make life richer or more meaningful? 

Let’s start with some basic vocabulary:

To die – to pass away – to be deceased 
Euphemistic expressions: to kick the bucket (informal/joking) – to meet your maker - To be no longer with us – To lose someone
Death (noun) death Dead (adj) – He is dead/gone/passed. deadly (adj.)
Vigil / wake
Funeral (+ home, procession / hearse / service / reception)
To bury sb /  to be buried , coffin, cemetery
To cremate sb / to be cremated, ashes, urn, to sprinkle the ashes
To embalm the body – embalsamar
To mourn/to grieve – lamentar la muerte de, estar de luto
To be ‘in mourning’ – a mourner

Ways to express your condolences or sympathy to someone who is grieving

How do you prepare yourself or your loved ones for death?

Such terrible news. I’m so sorry.
I’m sorry for your loss.
I can’t tell you how sorry I am.
He’ll/She’ll be missed.
I’m here for you.
My condolences.
I’d like to offer my condolences (formal).
I’ll always remember him/her. I have such fond memories of xxx.
It will take a long time to get over that/ she never got over the death of her husband.

How do you cope with the loss of a loved one?

What are the burial traditions where you live?

Some traditions around the world:

Do you believe in life after death? Why or why not? What impact does the concept of an afterlife have on people's lives and choices? – a great comfort, religion, believing that something is there. It can never be tested because it’s faith.

In the UK and NZ funerals are not immediate. In Spain they are the next day with visits to the funeral home first.
In Ireland they often hold wakes
Jewish – bury in 24 hours and tear an item of clothing
Muslims - always buried facing Mecca.
Hindus - all Hindus (except babies, children, and saints) are cremated. They don’t touch the dead body because they consider it impure.
Buddhists in Mongolia and Tibet believe that the soul and spirit moves on after death, and the body is just empty. To return it to the earth, the body is chopped into pieces and placed on a mountaintop, which exposes it to the elements — including vultures.
More modern traditions are “Living funerals”, composting

How would you like your end of life to be handled?

Have you ever attended or heard of memorable funerals? What was special about them??


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