To quote Mark Twain, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated". The expression derives from the popular form of a longer statement by the American writer which appeared in the New York Journal of 2 June 1897: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’. The correction was occasioned by newspaper accounts of Twain’s being ill or dead. At the time, Twain’s cousin James Ross Clemens was seriously ill in London, and appears that some reports confused him with Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain).
A good death needs not carry a sting. Lee personally witnessed how Hon Sui Sen, close friend and old guard minister, drew strength from his Catholic faith as he lay dying in 1983: "He was fearless. I was at his bedside. The priest gave him the last sacrament. His profound belief was from childhood. Because he had that belief, he had an equanimity of mind and spirit." (Hard Truths, page 218)
A verse oft quoted at Christian wakes and funerals goes like this:
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.