People Die.

With Carrie Fisher’s death, social media has gone into yet another one of its agonizingly irritating mourning sprees, where everyone posts about how great the actress was and how 2016 is bad for killing everyone. That’s such a fascinating concept, because obviously no one believes that the year is killing people. But what are they really saying?

“Fuck aging.”

That is what they mean when they say “Fuck 2016 for killing so many people.”

People age, and then they die.

People die.

I would like very much for my fellow millennials to come to terms with this and to stop turning Facebook and Twitter into never-ending funeral processions, because it’s past the point of being ridiculous. So an actress died. Forgive me if I’m not moved to tears that someone I’ve never met died.

No, she didn’t “pass.”

She died.

She is dead.

Let’s come to terms with that.

I’m not a fan of euphemisms, and I’ve been made into a pariah on quite a few occasions for adamantly refusing to say that someone “passed away.” They didn’t “pass away.” They died. Death is a part of life, and there is no reason that anyone should have to hide from that reality. We are mortal beings. You, too, will one day die. You will not “pass away.” You will die.

The funny thing is that there does seem to be a hint of this idea that 2017 will somehow not kill as many people, and it’s here that the “fuck 2016” euphemism shows its true nature: it allows false comfort. It allows them to euphemistically point to a year as the problem, rather than the harsher reality that their icons and heroes from childhood and adolescence are older and closer to death. If 2016 claimed one hundred such icons, 2017 will claim one hundred and fifty. Because it’s not 2016 that is killing people; it’s getting older that is killing people, and in 2017 everyone will be one year older.

I’m sorry, little ones, but 2016 is not the problem, and you should not direct your ire at the year. The problem is aging, the problem is mortality, and the problem is death. We are all aging at every moment of every day, always marching toward the grave. Our progress cannot be halted, and possibly cannot be slowed. 2016 killed no one. Generally speaking, aging did. The more people age, the closer they get to death.

If you must mourn the death of people you’ve never met, might I suggest mourning the 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians who were killed by the American government? Might I suggest mourning the dead Syrian children killed because our government armed the rebels? If you want to mourn the death of people you’ve never met, don’t mourn for someone who lived a life of extreme comfort and luxury. Mourn someone who lived a life of sorrow and tragedy, only to have an American bomb or American bullet put an end to it.

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