When Russell Davison’s wife Wendy passed away at their home in Derby, England, after a long battle with cervical cancer, he couldn’t bear to part with her.
The doting husband says he wanted to keep her at home for as long as possible rather than taking her to a funeral parlour.
“The idea of her being taken away in a plastic body bag hours after death is so alien to us all now we really don’t think we could have taken it,” he shared on Facebook.
Davidson washed and dressed his wife and placed her in a coffin, which was kept in their bedroom.
He says the process helped him and their children grieve.
“Wendy died very peacefully, fully sedated, in no pain in mine and Dylan’s arms with our ever faithful dog Elvis smuggled up right next to her too. Within a short space of Dominic, Luke & Amy , Benjamin & Erica were all by her side too,” he writes.
“After a while myself Amy & Erica gently and lovingly washed Wendy’s body, dressed her and placed her in her cocoon [coffin], it was very special. She looked absolutely beautiful, just like she always did in life, no effort, no makeup just radiant beauty.”
He says: “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.
“I was sure this would be a comfort to us all but again am truly amazed about what is happening; 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 alter is proving to be such a beautiful and comforting experience for me, the boys and all that are taking part.”
Wendy was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2006. She was told three years ago that she had just six months left to live, so spent her time travelling around Europe.
She returned home last September when the pain became too much to bear, and passed away on April 21.