Dead is a complete sentence. Expectant faces look hopefully for other words, but dead says it all. Not "gone", not "sleeping", not "departed", not "passed over" - dead. People in the South in particular seem to euphemize the difference between alive and otherwise, commonly known as dead.
I know about dead. My blood relatives are all dead except one cousin. They are gone but not to Memphis or Biloxi; they are dead, buried in graves about six feet deep. While they may have "passed over", I have no knowledge of that, and I'm not sure what some of them would have passed over nor where they might be now. I have never felt the compassion that people would convey in those words.
"Dead" seems to have ancient Indo-European roots and means without life. I haven't researched it much, but it's a concise description of a human who no longer breathes.
I object to other euphemisms, too. I prefer precise terms in dealing with things on earth. I can tolerate all kinds of words for dealing with ideas, concepts, beliefs. For some things we have no words - sexual intercourse with a child or a woman with a child's mind. Rape is properly sexual intercourse without consent. A woman with a child's mind is not capable of giving or denying sexual intercourse; so rape is not appropriate for that senario. Sexual molestation can mean lots of happenings relevant to the body.My apologies, readers. I am one of the small percentage of people who are irritated by euphemistic terminology.
I do not like using the word "saved" in a spiritual/religious sense. Being "saved" means being rescued from destruction or harm; and as surely as we live and breathe, we are going to be dead. Being dead is not being saved from destruction. We cannot know what happens after a person is dead. We do not know that being saved (believing in Jesus Christ as your personal saviour) is going to help the dead person. We just bury the body or scatter the ashes. Being politically correct in our word usage often is confusing. Trying to soften the harshness of the language is not helpful to me.
Being bereft of life is being dead. One dies; one does not sleep without life; one does not pass over into some other land (although one might pass over from the state of living to the state of being dead - sounds like a suicide choice to me - oh, I've decided to pass over, a nonchalant rendering of what might be a horrible decision). I expect to die some day. I will not be sleeping that I might wake for the festivities of my friends during my memorial service. I will not have made the choice to pass over. Yes, I will be gone but not to Texas or on a cruise. My spirit, my breath, will no longer be present in the world.
Okay,end of my rant about euphemisms for "dead".