We hear and read many clichés every day, but one in particular irritates me immensely: “to die for.”
In February of 2000, my husband died from kidney cancer. In the course of making arrangements with the funeral home directress, we were consoled knowing that my husband’s last hours were peaceful and without pain.
At the funeral a few days later, my step-daughter wore a stylish black dress, and having long blond hair, she looked stunning.
The funeral home directress, now known as the “Dragon Lady” in my family, commented to me, “That dress is drop-dead gorgeous.”
A few days later, my sister and brother-in-law and I decided to take a short break from the stress of the week, and we drove to Lake Tahoe for a breather.
Dragon Lady called to check on a detail regarding the death certificate. I mentioned, “We are on our way back from Lake Tahoe and will be home in an hour.”
“Lake Tahoe?” she said. “You really live the good life.”
Her comment pulled the thinnest of scabs off the deepest, rawest wound. Good life? Fresh air in searing pain is more like it.
A couple of years ago, my daughter’s in-laws toured New Hampshire admiring the brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges of the fall foliage. They stayed at a bed and breakfast, and for dinner one night, they had a delicious pumpkin-squash soup.
On Facebook later that evening, her mother-in-law described the soup as “to die for.”
The next day both husband and wife drowned in a freakish, horrible accident after falling into a gushing, rollicking river, flooded with newly thawed ice and melting snow. They never had a chance.
I just read this phrase again today on a chicken recipe (of all things) on Facebook: “This chicken is TO DIE FOR!!!” (complete with capital letters and three exclamation points!)
“To die for…” No, I don’t think so.
This is one cliché that must die. People use it heartlessly, without ever considering the words they use or how it impacts others who have experienced tragic loss of loved ones. It must die, NOW.