The "GONE" sign can also mean "absent" as in "She is absent from class
today." The non-dominant hand starts as a "C" and closes into a
flattened "O" handshape as the dominant hand moves downward while changing
from a loose 5-handshape into a flattened "O" handshape.
GONE / ABSENT:
DEPLETE / RUN-OUT-OF:
There are those who will tell you that if someone dies you "should"
sign "DEAD." That however ignores the
fact that many, many Deaf sign things like: "YEAR-past MY MOM GONE"
to mean "I lost my mom last year."
English uses euphemisms.
ASL uses euphemisms.
English speakers generally do not run around telling other English
speakers "No, you can't say you lost your mom last year. You have to
say 'Last year my mom died!'"
Equal rights for ASL signers: We have the right to use euphemisms.
The GONE sign is an "acceptable" euphemism for DEAD in ASL.
However the sign "LOST / lose / unknown whereabouts" -- is
not an ASL
euphemism for DEAD.
GONE yes. (Can in context mean "dead.")
LOST no. (Would seem odd or inappropriate if used to mean "dead.")
You can learn
American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars