Monday, September 13, 2010


According to, a euphemism is "the substitution of a mild, indirect or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh or blunt."  One of the most common subjects we use euphemisms for is death.  Even the example given was for death.

In that documentary on JK Rowling that I mentioned in the last post, she was talking about the fact that her father requested that she not see her mother after she died, and listening to him was one of her biggest regrets, because "the truth of a thing is easier to handle than what we substitute for the truth."   I believe this to be true.  

I was talking to a dear friend of mine shortly after Erin was born, about her sister that was stillborn (even stillborn is a euphemism) when she was 4 years old.  Her parents talked about "losing the baby."  She said that for the longest time she thought her parents had misplaced her baby sister, and she couldn't understand why they weren't looking for her.

It really made me think about the messages we send ourselves as baby loss parents. Yes, it hurts so badly to say "my baby died," but I wonder of some of the mommy-guilt felt by a mother whose baby has died stems from the subconscious message received by "I lost my baby."

But I didn't lose her.  She wasn't misplaced, or dropped, or left somewhere.  She died.  She died, and it wasn't my fault.  That's why I try not to use euphemisms.  It may be harder for other people to hear, but the truth of the thing is easier for me to handle than what is substituted for the truth.


  1. I do the same thing. And I see people wince inwardly when I say it. But it is a fact, my baby died. I make no apologies that the world is unfair and I am saying it like it is.

  2. Wow. Thanks for this. It really made me think about how I've been thinking of my miscarriages . . . Just had to say thanks.