The paper argues for the widely unacknowledged importance of death in the motivation of human conduct and the significance of the sequestration of death for sociological theory. Sociological studies that illuminate modern strategies for coping with death also contribute to its sequestration as they routinely naturalise the contemporary commonsense understanding of death as something negative that must be coped with. The (negative or morbid) representation of death, it is argued, should be re-cognised as a social product, not reproduced in sociological studies as something that is seemingly innate to the human condition. Otherwise, a commonsense representation of death as unequivocally negative is reinforced rather than scrutinised; and alternative understandings of the significance of mortality for analysing everyday life and human emancipation are suppressed.