Mrs. Jones came to her hearing-test appointment with her daughter-in-law. She looked more than her 84 years, arriving in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank strapped to the back. She was quiet during most of the intake interview and cooperative during testing. But when the topic of hearing aids was broached, Mrs. Jones looked the audiologist directly in the eyes for the first time, saying in a weakened voice: “I don’t think all that will be necessary. I doubt I’ll be on this earth that much longer. I should’ve gone before Henry those 20 years ago.” The audiologist was surprised at her words and not fully certain how to respond. After a moment, he said in a reassuring tone: “I’m sure you’ll feel better once we get you hearing again.” With a sign of resignation, Mrs. Jones looked down at her hands resting on her lap blanket, as the audiologist continued to outline a treatment plan for her hearing loss. There are many cultural taboos in life, both real and perceived. Certain topics have been ingrained within us not to broach. Topping the list are sex, politics, and religion. In an audiology practice, the taboos are often (tongue in cheek) said to be politics, religion, and battery life. But possibly one of the greatest taboos in our culture is the discussion of death. For many, our discomfort with the dead and dying creates an avoidance of talking about, or possibly even thinking about, death. As Hess (2020) so succinctly put it, “American society is a death-denying culture.” Or, as Woody Allen said, “I have nothing against death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Yet, death is part of the roller-coaster pattern that makes up the very existence of our being. Death is inevitable in all things, from animated life forms to the more inanimate celestial bodies of planets and stars. In some ways, it seems odd that something so natural should be so difficult to confront. But such is the oddity of self-contemplation and interpersonal interaction. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!