This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Our ancestor's attitude toward death

In my lifetime I have seen a definite change in the attitude towards death. I was the first generation of drivers that learned to wear seat belts in cars. In fact, a decade earlier, before I learned to drive, cars didn't even have seat belts. And yes, people were terribly injured in what today we would consider minor accidents, and more often they were killed. And people were pretty casual about this, saying things like *well, if it's my time to go, I guess it's my time*.

You can still find this casual attitude toward death with elderly people. They knew that world, as did their parents and grandparents. They had no reason to be hopeful back then, as the technology just wasn't there. People commonly died from things that we now just consider a nuisance. Try looking up the flu epidemic of 1918. If someone died from the flu today, we would be astonished. Back then, it was typical, and people didn't spend a lot of time worrying about it, since there was nothing they could do.

Death often came very suddenly, and unexpectedly, to our ancestors. Our modern world is made up of the technology that has been invented since then by people who asked *how could this have been prevented?*

So, it's very creepy to our modern eyes to see people back then just going about their business and being so casual when someone died. Because of the advances in medicine, today we have made death less inevitable, and less common, at a young age. People still die, of course, but now mostly of old age. When I get to about 100 I guess I will become fatalistic about death. But for now, I want to live!


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