We don’t seem to have a word to describe someone who no longer is.  We can only express the person in question as the subject of an active verb.  For example, “He’s dead now.”  But how can someone who no longer “is” be anything?

I’m being facetious, sure.  But we don’t seem to grasp someone no longer existing.  What does it mean, anyway?  A friend once observed that people tend to think of the past as some distant place, that if we just try hard enough, if we could just travel far enough, we could see Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King, or our granddads walking up over that distant hill to say hello.  But they are gone, they are “ex-people!” to paraphrase John Cleese describing his infamous dead parrot.

We might better grasp death’s finality if we just said, “He no longer is…,” as in:

1st person:  “How’s ol’ Jim Bob these days?”

2nd person:  “Oh, I’m sorry, he’s not.

1st person:  “Not?  Not what?

2nd person:  “Just…not.”

In effect, there is no such thing as Jim Bob anymore.