Just like taxes, death is inevitable, they say. However, Agostinho da Silva, a Portuguese scholar, did say, with undeniable logic, that there’s no otherwise proof that the human being isn’t immortal.
The only existing proof is that all those who’ve died until today weren’t.
As the first person to be immortal is to never realize that fact, as he expects, like the rest of us, to die, but doesn’t, we all can be that immortal one. Only death will prove us not to be that, but doesn’t, as said before, prove that those who remain here aren’t.
Brilliant logic, although Agostinho da Silva has, himself, passed away and the likelihood of that happening also to all and each one of us seems to be very high indeed.
We’re all given the exact same time to prepare for that particular moment: a lifetime. But, inevitably, it always catches us unprepared. We’re simply afraid of it. No way around that. Be it because of the unknown it represents, be it for its unappealing irreversibility, unless you happen to be named Lazarus and even he didn’t escape it the second time.
Life is hard, but it’s much harder to leave it. So we block the anguish that it causes us, by simply ignoring that fact. We just live like we aren’t going to die. We know we will, but just pretend we won’t.
Death then becomes an avoidable subject, something to be kept at a very comfortable distance. We find its images either gross or shocking, because they remind us that our pretense is useless.
Our interaction with this subject is particularly difficult. But when it befalls on a child, it’s simply repulsive, for the injustice it implicates.
None of us know exactly how long a certain lifetime is supposed to be, but we do have a perception of what life expectancy amounts to, and certainly it isn’t only a childhood. This obviously influences the way a body of a dead child is carried.
There are physical and psychological reasons for us to carry a dead child the way we do. I’ll start with the easiest ones, the physical.
But to do that I have to explain one psychological detail, related to death itself and not with the ones which affect us in the decision in how we carry a dead child, which I’ll deal with later. That detail is humanity.
One could almost say that the relationship of the humanity of a corpse is inversely proportional to the settling of Rigor Mortis (RM) in it. The more RM settles in a body, the less humane it becomes. That’s why you never see a “stiff corpse” being carried by other than those professionally related to the carrying (undertakers, forensics, etc.), and do see the carrying of “limp” corpses by who we often assume to be a relative of the recently deceased.
The recently deceased are still full of humanity. We look upon them as a departed, only later do we see them as corpses.
So for the physical reasons, I’m only going to refer to recently deceased children. A child in full RM is not only exceptional as it isn’t applicable to the Smith Sighting. That would mean that Maddie would have to have been killed from 6/8 hours up to 3 days before, and in that timeframe certainly another means of transportation of the body, other than on foot, would have been found, and I'll not even speak about other gruesome details that the decomposition process implicates.
There’s one reason why, physically, a dead child is carried the way it is, and that is called gravity.
If the corpse of a child is carried in the VERTICAL position, then the uncooperative head becomes too heavy and will tend to wobble around as the neck muscles no longer maintain the head in its position.
This lack of cooperation is extended to the upper body as it offers no assistance in maintaining the verticality.
If a child is carried in the HORIZONTAL position, once again the uncooperative muscular mass becomes simply weight and the body, being smooth, will tend to slip between our arms and fall.
We have to find some leverage points to avoid this falling, and the human body has two very specific “picking up” points: under the knees, and under the armpits, as seen above.
To differentiate this position from the HORIZONTAL one, I’ll call this, the DECEASED position, as is only applicable to the transportation of a lifeless body. In the present case, a small body.
If you hold a body in the DECEASED position it doesn’t fall. However, there’s no support for the head, and that’s why it falls backward the way it does, visually violent to all that have to see it.
There’s another way to carry a body, and that is throwing the body over the shoulder, making the leverage point the hips. But that is treating the corpse like a carcass, and that’s disrespectful.
And respect is a psychological sentiment, so let me tell you why, other than physically, we carry the body of a dead child the way we do.
As I said above, we all have a difficult time to relate with that phenomenon called death. We want to be detached from it. But as humans we’re filled with an array of sentiments that we hold dear, amongst which I would highlight love and respect, and this is reflected in the way we treat our deceased, by wanting to have them treated with the utmost dignity and veneration.
This duplicity of feelings, detachment and love, affects the way we pick up the corpse of a child. The deceased is either known to its carrier, or it’s not, but either way, respect will be shown.
If it’s the body of a child one doesn’t know, one tends to carry it in DECEASED position as it the most detached but yet comfortable way we can transport it. We want to distance ourselves from the death that is right there before us, staring at us from that lifeless body.
To hold it by the armpits and transport it at arm’s length would be disrespectful, besides being physically too tiresome.
This mother gorilla holds her dead offspring in that manner, for she has no concept of respect or love, as is just capable to have nature’s impetus to provide motherly nurturing, and realizes that her offspring is now just a disposable “thing”:
If the body of the child is of one that was dear to us, we, for almost opposing reasons, hold it the same way.
We don’t want to detach ourselves from anything, but although our rationale tells us that the child is gone, we refuse to accept it, and want to show the world the disgrace that has befallen on us.
By holding it in the DECEASED position we’re exposing the body, showing it to everyone.
We may hold the body to our chest showing all the love we had, but when we have to transport it, the DECEASED position is the most humane, respectful and yet comfortable way to do it.
Jane Tanner’s above description of the abductor is a picture-perfect one would describe the DESEASED position.
Why? That will be dealt with later. The child in the Smith Sighting was not seen being carried the DECEASED position, but in the VERTICAL one, without any support to the head: