by Don  

When people are grieving it feels harsh to use the word умирать/умереть for “to die.” In those contexts it's better to use the verb “to pass away,” which in Russian is скончаться. It only exists in the perfective with that prefix, but кончаться/кончиться can have roughly the same meaning as well.

to pass away
Infinitive скончаться
Past скончался
Present No such thing as
perfective present
in Russian.
Future скончаюсь
Imperative скончайся

Sample sentences:

Когда мой дедушка скончался, на похороны приехало двести человек. When my grandfather dies, two hundred people came to the funeral.
25 июля 1980 года, в 4:10 утра, Высоцкий скончался во сне в своей московской квартире. (source) Vysotskiy passed away in his sleep at his Moscow apartment on the 25th of June, 1980, at 4:10 a.m.
В Боливии от лихорадки денге скончалось 19 человек. (source) 19 people died of Dengue fever in Bolivia.
Когда умру, когда скончаюсь,
Когда в холодный гроб уйду,
Тогда любить меня не надо.
Люби сейчас пока живу! (source)
When I die, when I pass away,
When I depart into the cold tomb,
Then you don't have to love me.
Love me now while I'm alive!

That last quote is from a site that collects romantic text messages. Romantic. Hm. My first reaction was to think that it's more like horny and desperate text messages. But then I thought again. The truth is that we never know when those we love will die. If we don't show our love to them now, we might never have a chance again. Choose today to show love to those around you.

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