The grim finality of death tends to make the living look for ways to cushion the blow, as if saying dad “returned to the arms of his Loving Savior” somehow makes it easier to accept he won’t meet your future kids. But hey, do whatever it takes to get through this difficult time, especially considering you won’t have a father-daughter dance at your wedding reception.
Because the United States occupies a vast chunk of land, it turns out that Americans have different ways of euphemizing the inevitable, according to Mental Floss. Drawing on data from online obituary clearing house Legacy.com, writer Simon Davis tracked the relative prevalence of phrases other than “passed away” or “died” (the most common descriptors). People in Washington and Colorado, for instance, like to say “left this world.” While it’s not surprising that Southern states favor religiously tinged phrases like “entered eternal rest” (Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina), would anyone have guessed that Illinois—home to the godless heathens of Onion Inc.—favors “went to be with his/her/the Lord”? (So does Arkansas, by the way.) Alaska likes “succumbed,” presumably because “to exposure” generally follows, and Nevada likes “lost his/her battle,” probably because of all the cancer caused by testing nukes there. Unlikely buddies Hawaii and Utah favor “slipped away,” as if life were but wet spaghetti in our hands. (But isn’t it?)
Check out the full map along with more information on how the data was sourced, at mentalfloss.com. And sorry for your loss. Dad was proud of you.