some classroom discussion made me look deeper into the old english vocabulary for ending of life.
and here is a thing: there is no general verb for ‘die’ in old english. no word for ‘just stop living’.
there are words like steorfan, sweoltan, beon/wesan dead, beon/wesan slihte, and so on. or words that described a soul’s progress to the otherworld, like forfaran, which probably could be counted as euphemisms.
it made me think of reverence for life. because it can end in all those different ways. as there is no generalisation for death, there is no generalisation for life – all is special, to the very end.
and then we will forfaran. travel forth.