Obfuscation is not communication.
Why do people say, “If something happens to me” when they are talking about their own unavoidable future death? The BIG SOMETHING is going to happen. Not calling it what it is, death, is not going to delay its arrival. It will happen when it happens.
Perhaps those who speak the phrase are seeking to spare others from emotional distress. It is not easy to discuss our unavoidable future death. However, the need for discussion is important in several situations. For example, it needs to happen when an aging parent wants to share information about the safe deposit box or a life insurance policy. Maybe mom wants those who will survive her to know who is to get the dinner plates and quilts. As we age, we want to get our affairs in order and that is commendable.
If you are nearer the end than the beginning of life there is no doubt. Something will happen to you; death will take you. After it does, others will announce it using this obfuscation. They will say of you that you have “passed away.”
Person Note: I always try to write these brief blogs on real life issues. Death is a part of life; just not the fun part. A friend of mine died today. I had a beer with him three weeks ago. I knew then that he was ready. He had a good long run. Kermit, I will pour one in your memory this evening.