Raindrops Keep “Fallen” on our Head

I, too, winced at the use of the euphemism “fallen” when honoring our fellow classmates, professors, and friends. So I smiled when I saw John Cushing’s friendly but clear protest letter about the euphemism. I also understand it’s a tricky topic for many people. In response to your asking for suggestions as to how to word these announcements, I suggest something along the lines of “Honoring the recent death(s) of fellow classmates, professors, and friends.” This avoids the use of the word “dead,” which is graceless and heavy handed, in this context, but which does look at the subject without blinking.

I don’t think we need euphemisms, but we do need some grace when it comes to remembering them.

Respectfully, and in honor of Reed College, and fellow classmates, professors and friends, dead or alive,

Elizabeth Donnally Davidson ’70, MAT ’71

Bainbridge Island, Washington