When Russell Davison’s wife Wendy died after a 10-year battle with cervical cancer, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
Instead of handing her body over to a funeral director and a mortuary, he chose to spend six days with her body in the couple’s family home.
WATCH: What you need to know about cervical cancer. Post continues after video.
Speaking to The Sun, Russell said he washed and dressed Wendy’s body, placing her body in a coffin, or “cocoon” as he puts it, in their bedroom.
“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,” Russell said.
"She looked absolutely beautiful, just like she always did in life: no effort, no make-up, just radiant beauty.
"We have been fooled by TV and films into thinking there is something to be scared about with dead bodies – there is not, I can assure you."
Wendy was diagnosed with cervical cancer just after the couple celebrated a joint 40th birthday in 2006.
Three years ago, she was told she had six months to live. Instead of seeking further treatment, the couple chose to spend her last months travelling around Europe in a caravan.
In September last year, Wendy and Russell returned to Britain as her pain became unbearable. She was determined to die in her own home, and was nursed by her family until her death on April 21.
Russell said keeping his 50-year-old wife's body at home helped their children - Wendy's sons Luke and Dylan and Russell's sons Benjamin and Dominic - come to terms with the loss of their mother.
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"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, and have her in our bedroom so I could sleep in the same room," he said.
"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."