Comfort or Deceit?
A euphemism is a gentle word or expression for a harsh or offensive term. Instead of “died,” for example, we often say that someone “passed away” or a pet was “put to sleep” — or “the cat’s on the roof…”
Consider this dark humored joke:
Tom goes on vacation and asks his brother Bob to take care of his cat. Tom calls to say hello, and Bob says the cat died. Tom is grief-stricken. He suggests Bob could have broken the news to him more gently: “When I called, you could have said, ‘The cat’s on the roof and won’t come down.’ The next time I called you could have said, ‘The cat was injured during the rescue and is at the vet's.’ The third time you could have told me, ‘The cat succumbed to his injuries.’ That way, I would have been prepared for the bad news.”
Bob says he understands, and adds: “Mom’s on the roof.”