Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Do you have to restrain yourself from asking how someone died?

Asked by filmfann (50085points) January 27th, 2022

These days a lot of people have died.
I ran into a friend who was upset that a friend of hers passed. I barely knew this person, but I was compelled to ask if it was Covid related. It wasn’t.
Asking a question like that is loaded with potential damage. Drug overdose, murder, suicide, cancer… When do you get an answer that isn’t bad?
I don’t know why I asked.
Do you do this?

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17 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I refrain from asking the how question.
To me it comes over as if I deem the cause of death more important/valuable than the person.
But, in the past, I did ask it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s hard not to be curious.

chyna's avatar

An ex-co-worker of mine (and she was a friend I had lost touch with) had an ex-husband that died. This was pre Covid and I was very curious because I had been friends with him also. So I stalked his Facebook and found that he had committed suicide. I was actually glad I had known because she called me a couple of months later and I wasn’t taken by surprise.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Yes,as if the obituary is posted in the local newpapers and if they died of an illness somethimes tributes are requested to send donations of money rather than flowers to the designated Charity.
( Example: The Cancer Society)

zenvelo's avatar

It isn’t the asking so much as the way of the asking.

One ought to avoid a directly negative question, i.e, “did he OD?” or “did he shoot himself?”.

But one can ask in a more sensitive manner: “had he been ill?” or “was this completely unexpected?”

And, it also depends on the age of the person and how close you were. When a helathy 13 yr old took his own life in our community a few years back, it was not at all unusual for people to ask, “how?”

When man in his 30s that attended our local AA meetings died, people did not ask “how” but “was he sober?”

Nomore_Tantrums's avatar

It all depends. If it’s a person I know who lost someone, then no. Don’t want to upset someone and if they want me to know, I assume they will tell me. If it’s a stranger, as in some celeb or actor, then yes. Always curious. When my wife or a friend tells me that such and such famous person has died, I always ask what happened.

janbb's avatar

Yes. Always curious.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You can pretty much assume:

- rap or hip-hop musician under the age of 30—> gunshot wound

- rock musician, actor, other celebrity under 40 —> drugs

- actors older than 40 but under 65—> either suicide or some sort of cancer

- 65 and up -> their bodies wore out

SnipSnip's avatar

No. If people want you to know they tell you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it some sort of instinct to want ton know?

flutherother's avatar

I won’t ask directly but I might ask if he or she was ill, or if it was sudden. Knowing someone is dead is only half the story. I want to know how they died and I don’t think it is healthy to keep it shrouded in mystery, if you can forgive the pun.

jca2's avatar

If I’m friends with the person I’m talking to, I’ll feel free to ask what the person died from. If I’m not that close to the person I’m talking to, I’ll do what others here mentioned, by asking if the person was sick. I find most people will discuss freely what the cause of death was.

malcomkade's avatar

When my friend’s grandma died at the age of 103.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that’s kind of obvious @malcomkade.

malcomkade's avatar

Hence my restraint .

rebbel's avatar

She died after doing a 720 in a half pipe.

malcomkade's avatar

Everyone saw it coming. The prison scheduled her lethal injection months in advance.

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