Last month, one of my close family members passed away. It wasn’t a surprise: he’d
reached 90, his health was deteriorating, and we all knew it wouldn’t be long until it happened. But no matter how prepared you are, it’s always a shock – and on the evening I found out, I spent several hours on the shorefront trying to process my grief.
When we describe death, it’s nearly always in negative terms, and loaded with imagery of things like tombstones, skulls and the colour black. Death is the Other we define ourselves against, and even the language we use to describe death (‘passed away’) distances us from the concept.
Most of the time, we just don’t talk about it.