Dimond And Sons, Silver Bell Chapel

Your Questions


Not too long ago my mother-in-law passed away to cancer and the family was there at the moment of her last breath while she was at home in her bed. Needless to say there were a lot of family members there and everyone took their turn entering the bedroom to pay their respects... except my father-in-law, her husband. Oh, he did get some time.. but he was never alone with her. Months later he confessed to my wife about resenting the fact a little that he was not left alone with his dead wife; I mean, all he wanted to do was a final kiss, caress, whatever, of his souldmate for 35 years. This struck me and in the weeks to follow I made a number of inquiries into exactly what was legal vs. illegal regarding close contact with the dead. And what I found was quite revealing. We marry someone for life but as soon as they die the body becomes part of a process of disassociation purely for the sake of state health laws, funeral association dictates, or local codes. In other words, the dead cease to be the 'property' of the family.. or of the spouse. My point to all this... in my wanderings I have discovered folks who would have liked far more intimate private time with their dead loved ones than a simple viewing alone in the parlor. Some have even suggested a consumation of a final act of sexual love. These people are not hardened necrophiles... just folks who would have wanted to express some final act of love and compassion that, to be quite honest, is far less 'invasive' and seemingly 'abusive' as embalming. My question to you is that which many have posed to me... can the spouse request an intimate encounter with their dead loved one either by simple request at time of making the funeral arrangments or by a provision in their will? Following the issue with her father my wife has acctually asked me if there were a way should she die if we could have an intimate 'moment' together before she's rushed to her grave. We were put on this planet in God's image to love and procreate... yet this act is taken away at death. Can arrangments be made, presumming the body is in a proper condition, to allow for this expression of bereavement? I thoroughly enjoy your site and your replies are very good and inciteful.
I pondered whether to answer this question and finally decided that I would. The answer to your questions is - No, such arrangements can not be made for several very compelling reasons. You said it very well. You marry someone for life. The essence of intimacy is CONSENT. A dead person cannot look after themselves, their body, their estate, so there are laws. They can not consent to anything. American states have generally adopted common law rules which set forth, centuries ago, that human remains are "quasi-property", unique in the law. The family has the right to control disposition, the funeral director carries out their instructions, but must follow the law, which, in most states, prohibits sexual contact with human remains. I think it's a good rule.



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Copyright©1998 by Donald C. Dimond II