“Oh, no,” I exclaimed several years ago, when a student in a composition class stepped out afterwards to explain that she had been absent because her grandmother had died. “Another dead grandmother!”
The girl immediately burst into tears.
Of course I wished I was dead. The student’s grandmother really had died. Or else her granddaughter was a good actress. But you want to try to avoid being too cynical about excuses, especially those involving death. Question these particular excuses and you may as well be questioning respect for the dead or the suffering of those left behind. —Terry Caesar —The Time of Dead Grandmothers (Inside Higher Ed)