“Never sleep with my hands crossed over my chest. She [informant's mom] would think Death would think I was dead by accident and take you away. And I would die. My mom was an intense old lady.”
In what situation would you hear this story?
“Right before bed because it was the most comfortable way I would fall asleep.”
Was there a way to counteract having your hands crossed?
“My mom would just move my hands apart [when he was asleep]. Maybe her mom told me. My mom was pretty superstitious. She was really religious. She believed in an afterlife and karma and was afraid we would be mistaken for some reason or another. That’s about it. She was the only one to believe.”
I think this superstition represents the informant’s, and his family’s, beliefs in death. According to the informant, death has the ability to take life whenever it believes someone has passed, and potentially when the person is not actually dead. This story also represents the fear in mistakes.