Placing Coins on the eyes of the Dead

Hello Saveta,

My family and I have been following you on Instagram and checking out your blog posts and we wanted to say we have been enjoying all your varied and intriguing posts. Keep up the great efforts.

Would you be able to tell us the origin of placing coins on the eyes of the Dead?

Thanks B.D. Burlington

Thank you for your kind sentiments, I am delighted that you and your loved ones have been enjoying my efforts through various postings.

In response to your question, the placing of coins on the eyes of the Dead have several sources of explanation .... one practice was said to prevent them from opening their eyes once they were in the grave and looking around for someone to join them... in their death experience!

Another thought was that it provided “payment” or “bribe” for Charon, the ferryman whose responsibility it was to convey souls across the river Styx to the Underworld. This waterway was thought to form the energetic divide between the living and the dead.

An additional curious side note: over time, Charon’s accumulation of coins was at some point going to pile high enough to touch the ceiling in Hades. When that happens, apparently the dead will break free their confines and the end of the world will arrive.

And a last mention; during Victorian times there were concerns that during a visitation a corpse’s eyes could sometimes “pop” open unexpectedly.

I am assuming because of inconsistent preservation practices for corpses during that era.

So, heavy silver coins were placed on the eyelids to prevent this disturbing eye-popping effect from happening and startling assembled guests

I can always “count” on my readers to provide unique and wonderful questions (sorry for the pun, could not resist!)


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