This is a wonderful explanation of the possuk, of why the chumosh doesn't say vayomos, as it does about every other death, except that of Dovid Hamelech. The Ramban says something similar, as do many other meforshim on the chumosh. But they do not have the burden of explaining the gemoro. They can explain the chumosh any way they like, but it's almost impossible to read the gemoro in a way consistent with these explanations.
The gemoro remarks that Yaakeiv Ovinu Lei Meis, and asks why, in that case, he was embalmed, mourned, and buried. Now it could have answered that even though his essence didn't die in the way that almost everybody else does, his body was still lifeless, and needed to be dealt with. RAYK's observation, that only the Egyptians mourned him, explains one of the gemoro's three questions, but doesn't address the other two. It was Yeiseif who ordered him embalmed, and it was his sons who buried him; and the gemoro assumes that if he were not dead then these things would not have been necessary. And it does not offer any explanation. Instead it insists that we must accept that it was so, despite the difficulty, because it's a drosho on a posuk in Yirmiyohu.
Now, the rationalists will of course explain that what the gemoro's saying is "it's only a medrosh, it's not real - In reality, Yaakeiv was as dead as a doornail, and was embalmed, mourned, and buried just like any other stiff; the absence of the word vayomos is to let us make nice droshos and learn all sorts of moral lessons, but we all know that it wasn't actually so." And they will laugh at all the credulous right-wingers who drink the Artscroll kool aid and take medroshim literally.
But Rashi will have none of that. Veho dechontu chontayo, sevurim hoyu shemeis. And he repeats himself a few lines later: Udechontu chontayo, nidmeh lohem shemeis, avol chai hoyo. Had they known the truth that Yaakeiv had not died, they would not have embalmed him. Nor, we may infer, would they have mourned or buried him. Clearly Rashi understands Yaakeiv Ovinu lei meis in a way that is inconsistent with embalming, mourning, and burial, and therefore cannot accept any of these nice explanations about his soul not tasting the level of death called misoh, or about his body never having been essential to who he was, etc.
Of course we're not obligated to accept Rashi's explanation; we are free to offer other explanations, both of the posuk and of the gemoro. And with what we now know about Egyptian embalming technology (which Rashi had no way of knowing), it seems obvious that even if Yaakeiv was alive when the embalmers started working on him, he cannot possibly have been so when they were finished. So we may respectfully disagree with this Rashi; but what we cannot do is ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist. Rashi remains our rebbe for pshat in gemoro, and this is what he says the gemoro means. And yet there is so much hostility to this view, especially in the last 12 years.