Are you looking for someone but you're afraid to ask in case they've died?
If you're looking for old friends that you haven't seen for some time you might be worried that they're no longer with us. If you're right then calling up mutual friends and asking them could put you in a very awkward position. I've had people burst into tears on me when I've made this mistake. You might find that you get a little upset yourself too. Why not find out if they are dead before you start ringing around.
If you think that someone might have died you should find out for certain before making contact
Are you thinking about your old work buddies, college friends, family members that you haven't seen for years? It would be nice to meet up with them again because you probably haven't made contact with some of them for decades.
As time goes by the sad fact is that the chances of your friends being dead get greater and greater. All the more reason to make the effort to get in touch with them now but you do need to be sensitive in the methods that you use to find them. If you've ever tracked down a college buddy and called them up only to be told by their spouse that they passed away years ago then you'll know what I'm talking about.
How to find out if someone is dead without causing distress
I've been doing some research into several of my friends that I lost touch with years ago and I now make a point of looking them up in public death records before I try to contact them. You can do this confidentially without causing grief or distress to anyone. Apart from yourself of course. If you know that someone has died then you can decide not to contact their relatives or you can send them a letter telling them about your memories of the deceased. This will make you feel better and it's always welcome when received by someone left behind.
Use online public records to find out if someone is dead in less than 10 minutes How Do I Find Dead People ? Answers to popular questions using online databases http://www.howdo-i.com/