Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saved By The Bell:

Yes, time for yet another death blog.

The phrase ‘Saved by the bell.’ Doesn’t mean the bell at the boxing ring like most people think. Nor by the school bell at the end of the class period.

Once people were buried soon after death and just in case they were just so sick that they appeared to be dead and were not, a string was wrapped around the hand and the other end was attached to a bell outside of the grave. A person was left to watch the grave in the night incase the bell was rung. And some people were saved in just this way.

This was also the reason that people sat with the body at the ‘wake.’ Just in case they woke up before they were buried.

The child’s skipping rhyme: ‘I had a little bird, his name was Enza, I opened up the window and in flew Enza.’ It was about the influenza epidemic during the first world war. There was no one who didn’t loose someone they knew then. After it was over so many people died that in some small communities, people were just given new spouses and children left over from families where everyone else had died to form new family groups.

Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
Once the ashes were originally ahchoo. The sound of the sneeze. You sneezed, you died with the flu.

God bless you! You were glad to hear it so you just might not die too.

Children would play on the piles of coffin boxes in the streets. Peacock feathers were banned from homes incase they spread the disease. Some people today won’t have them in their houses because those feathers mean death to them.

By the way, I have a vase of peacock feathers in my bedroom and have for years.

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