Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, June 22, 2017

British Man Helped to Accept His Wife's Death by Six-Day Vigil

779Russell Davison held a six-day vigil for his deceased wife, Wendy, claiming the prolonged ceremony helped his family in coming to terms with her death. Wendy died at age fifty, ten years after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. The natural health therapist and the hypnotherapist refused chemotherapy and radiation as options to treat the cancer. Davidson believes this alternative method of treatment added at least five years to Wendy’s life.

When the inevitable spread of the cancer finally caused Wendy to suffer unbearable pain, the couple returned home from their world travels. When looking to end-of-life options, Davidson wanted the ceremony to mirror Wendy’s chosen treatment: far from the norm. So, he placed his wife’s body in a coffin lined with organic cotton and invited family and friends to come and spend time with the deceased. Davidson believes this time helped his family process and accept Wendy’s passing.

See Francis Perraudin, British Man Helped to Accept His Wife's Death by Six-Day Vigil, The Guardian, May 9, 2017.


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