I noticed that it is very popular or common where I live in the US that people often refer to the death of someone as in, "passed away" or, "she has passed" or "he passed away". Yet the Orthodox I have heard speaking use the term "Repose".
I began picking up this term and using it. Recently my Grandfather died in the hospital on 11 Dec 2008 (last week). I was with him when he took his last breath. And I was there to pray for him before and after he died. As soon as he took his last breath I put my head on his chest and heard the last heartbeat.
I then said, to the others in the room, "He has reposed". They looked at me and said' "what do you mean"? I said, "he's dead".
Because my Grandfather was a Jehovah's Witness and the other 3 family members who were with me were as well, they did not pray after he died. I called my brother in law, that is Catholic and asked if he would pray for my Grandfather. He said he would pray and light a candle for him. I then went to the chapel at the hospital alone to pray there because the others would not, since he had allready died. Among the many prayers, I asked the Holy Theotokos through her intercessory prayers to help his soul. Lord may his soul rest in peace.
I have wondered about a few things here. Did I do the right thing to pray after death and to call on others that I knew would pray after his death? I was told that this helps the soul in a prejudgement? He was by all standards one who was a part of a modern day heretical group that by most standards are not Christian. However he was a decent and good person. In other words, if he was a Muslim or Buddist, would it be the same. Also why do Orthodox use the term Reposed? Where did the terms, Passed away come from?. And what is the meaning of lighting of candles? Do Orthodox light candles?
My first orthodox visit to a church is coming up this weekend and so until now this forum is the only Orthodox people contact I have. From there I will begin to seek a spiritual father to guide me but for now maybe someone can give me their viewpoints.