London: A grieving husband in United Kingdom slept in the same room as his wife’s body for six days after her death. He did so to challenge the attitude that people have towards death.
Wendy Davison, 50, wife of Russell Davison, died in their house in Derby last month after she battled cervical cancer for 10-years.
Russell Davison, who was left “heartbroken”, said he did not want her body to be taken to a mortuary and that he wanted to challenge the general attitude that people have towards death.
Confirming the legalities of the incident, BBC reported that Mr Davison had the legal rights to have kept his wife’s body at their Derbyshire home. Coroner’s Court further confirmed that his wife Ms Wendy’s doctor had pronounced her death.
Mr Russell said, “Death seems to be such a taboo subject in our society, no-one seems to want to talk about it.”
“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.”
When Ms Wendy was diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly after their 40th birthday party in 2006, they decided to take a “natural” approach to her healthcare and treatment.
“We were not prepared to hand her life over to doctors. We wanted to do our own research and do the very best job we could to keep Wendy alive,” he said.
He believes their approach, which included refusing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, extended Ms Wendy’s life “by a very long time”.
In 2014, Ms Wendy was given six months to live, so the pair went on to travel across Europe.
But last September, they were forced to return home when her she complained of severe pain.
She received hospice care at the Royal Derby Hospital but the couple were positive of her not not dying at the hospital.
The pair decided that she would be treated at home by her family and that her body would remain in their home until her cremation. She died on April 21.
“Wendy died very peacefully, fully sedated, in no pain, in mine and Dylan’s arms with our ever faithful dog Elvis snuggled up right next to her too,” Mr Russell said.
He described the process to be “beautiful and comforting experience” specially to be surrounded by family and friends.
Contentious trusts and probate lawyer, Jak Ward, from Derby-based Smith Partnership, said it is not an offence to keep a body at home until the funeral as long as a death is reported and registered.
“Historically people would die at home and the body would be kept until the funeral,” he said.