A widower in Derby, England, kept his wife's body in the family home for six days following her death in April.
Russell Davison, 50, said that keeping his wife Wendy's body around for a few days is no big deal, reports the Daily Mail.
Death seems to be such a taboo subject in our society, no one seems to want to talk about it. For a long time I have been determined to have Wendy at home when she died. I did not want her in the mortuary or handed over to a funeral director, I wanted us to take care of her ourselves at our family home, have her in our bedroom so I could sleep in the same room. Having Wendy's body here and being able to sit with her all day, have her friends and family come to sit with her, chat with her, chat about her and light candles and incense on her altar proved to be such a beautiful and comforting experience for me, the boys and all that are taking part.
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The boys he referred to are Wendy's two sons, Luke and Dylan Nichols, and Russell's sons, Benjamin and Dominic Davison.
On Facebook, Russell reported the details of the experience in a manner that some readers might find gruesome.
"On a practical note Wendy has not leaked or started to smell at all," he wrote. "She has started to change in appearance as her body starts to relax into [its] next stage but she still looks beautiful and we are 5 days in now."
According to Russell, it was all within the bounds of English law.
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"Legally you don't have to keep a body in a morgue and we didn't have to do anything specific to preserve Wendy's body," he explained. "After six days we moved Wendy from the house to the crematorium in our car and we had to inform the police that we were moving the body. The police didn't really know what to say and the receptionist said she would log it anyway."
Keeping corpses of relatives is the norm in some cultures. For example, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the Torajan people sometimes keep dead bodies for years, while feeding and caring for them as if they were alive, reports National Geographic.
Although it is a relatively rare practice in the West, there are still many cases of individuals holding on to the bodies of their loved ones, reports Ranker, giving 15 examples.
As for Russell, he hopes the publicity surrounding his wife's death will encourage others to open their minds on the matter.
"We have all been fooled by TV and films into thinking there is something to be scared about with dead bodies," he says. "There is not, I can assure you."
Plus, he says, its "a lot cheaper than having a normal funeral."