Dying—Death—Dead. The words are easy to pronounce but difficult to say. Indeed the thought or articulation of these words often evokes an uncomfortable, uneasy feeling in Americans. Consider the many linguistic devices that are used to circumvent the realities that are associated with the words dying, death, and dead. Euphemisms have become firmly established in everyday discourse and have become incorporated into the professional vocabulary of the medical community. Phrases such as “she passed away,” “Mr. Smith left us during the night,” “there’s nothing more we can do,” and “he kicked the bucket” are useful in minimizing the explicit involvement of people in the death of an individual. In addition, vulgar treatment, the theatrical distortion of dying and death in the entertainment media promotes a popular cultural image of dying and death that is fantasy-life and unreal. The “objective” reporting of killings, accidents, and body counts by the news media also makes death seem unreal. News headlines such as “six million Jews were killed in the Nazi death camps,” “the death toll from the explosion is nearing two thousand,” and “the holiday death toll has reached forty-five” become statistical abstractions void of any real meaning for the reader.