Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Isn't she a lovely little girl sleeping beautifully in her bed?
Yes, I hear you cry, she is.
No-one can deny she looks peaceful and serene, for you see, she is.

She appears to be merely dozing but she is not in her bed, she is in her glass coffin.

Her name is Rosalia Lombardo, she is Sicilian and is only two years old.
She died of pneumonia in 1920.

No-one could understand how anyone could preserve such a young body and for so long, well, the answer seems to be a mixture of formaldehyde and water, that kills bacteria, Alcohol along with the arid conditions in the catacombs, would have dried Rosalia's body and allowed it to mummify. Glycerin would have kept her body from drying out too much and salicylic acid would have prevented the growth of fungi.
However the main ingredient was in fact zinc salts, this petrified Rosalia's body.
Zinc gave her rigidity, you could, in fact, take her out of the casket, prop her up and she would stand by herself.

Now I must admit that I find this fascinating, I love anything to do with mummies, how they are preserved and for so many years, but these are adults and they wish to be preserved because that is their belief.

Rosalia is two years old and had no choice.

And, I must admit that is what I find a little upsetting and disturbing.
Whether it is because it is a child I really don't know, but when I first saw this picture, I ooohed and aaaarhed at it and then I read that she was in fact, dead.
This put a very different perspective on it.
I don't know what you thnk but while I was looking at her, I kept thinking,
"Wouldn't it have been better if they let her go?"
You see, it's this 'trying to keep her' that is bothering me.
Her parents will not let 'her go.'
We can all understand that, but,a death in the family, happens to a lot of people (unfortunately) they loose their child, be it boy or girl, but you have to let them go.

I keep thinking about what the parents are thinking of?
Are they trying to show the whole world what a beautiful little girl she was?
Is it their way of grieving?
Are they trying to share their grief with the whole world?

Whatever their reason I cannot help but feel this beautiful little girl cannot find her place until she has been let go. It's like she is in no-mans land. Neither here nor there.

Does that make any sense?
I hope you understand what I am trying to say.


Sage said...

I think you summed it up perfectly, it's fascinating and almost repulsive at the same time but mummification has been going on for quite a while, some more successfully than others.. I am fascinated by osteoarchaeology anything to give us a clue as to how or why someone died...

Sage said...

Annette, you have an award, it's on my blog for you

Girl With The Golden Touch said...

I saw this, on a programme at the end of last year, it's very disturbing, at the same time as being interesting as to how she has been preserved for so many years. She is in a museum or something now, along with tons of others kept this way, some more children, mainly adults. It's strange.