Thai man kept dead wife’s body by his side for 21 years as he could not bear to part with her

He had intended to stay with his wife’s body until his death.

Fiona Tan | May 05, 2022, 05:37 PM

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A man in Thailand intended to stay with his wife's dead body until his death as he could not bear to part with her.

Wife passed away in 2001

According to a Facebook post on Apr. 30 by Petkasem Foundation, a charity that helps the needy, 72-year-old Chan Chanwatcharakarn is a retired officer from the Royal Thai Army, while his wife worked as an officer at Bangkok's Ministry of Health before her death.

Her death certificate reflected that she had passed away in 2001 after suffering from a brain aneurysm that was caused by her high blood pressure.

Chan had brought his wife's corpse to Wat Chonpratarn Rangsarit in Nonthaburi to have Buddhist rites conducted after her death, according to Thaiger.

However, when the monks asked if he wanted to cremate his wife's body, Chan declined and said he "could not accept the situation".

He then brought the coffin containing his wife to his home in Bang Khen District in Bangkok.

Talked to dead wife for 21 years

This was where Chan kept his wife for the next 21 years, during which he would speak regularly to her about his problems as if she was still alive.

He said it was love at first sight for him and his wife.

The couple lived with their two sons, and apparently never had an argument throughout their marriage.

However, Chan grew distant from his children after his wife passed, as they could not accept that Chan wanted to keep her body at home.

They moved out and eventually had families of their own.

Chan had intended to stay with his wife’s body until his death, but that was before he realised his wife might not receive a proper cremation and funeral after he passed away.

This was when he contacted the Petchkasem Foundation.

House was in a wasteland

When the foundation arrived at Chan's home, they saw that it was located in a dilapidated “wasteland”, and the area was surrounded by many overgrown trees and vines, according to Thaiger.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

His home was in disarray from years of neglect, and members of the foundation described it as more of a "storage facility".

It had no electricity as well, although it had running water.

When staff pried open the coffin after retrieving it, they said the body of Chan's wife was in a “dry condition”.

The coffin had discoloured over the years as well, and was splintering around the edges.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

Members of the non-profit group then transferred the body to a new coffin.

Throughout this process, Chan was visibly overcome with emotions and stayed close to his wife's corpse.

The frail old man could also be seen caressing her body and the new coffin after it was sealed.

Image screenshot from video from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

Wife cremated on Apr. 30

Both the old and new coffins were brought to a temple in Bangkok.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

According to Thaiger, the funeral for Chan's wife was held at the Sakorn Sunprachasan temple on Apr. 30.

Chan was pictured struggling to climb up a flight of stairs to attend the procession, and to send his wife off at the temple for one last time.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

Image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook.

After his wife's body was cremated, Chan brought her ashes home in an urn, and said he intends to keep his wife's ashes with him until he passes.

Chan was reported to have said, "I still miss you every minute and my love for you has not changed."

Foundation helping Chan

In Petchkasem Foundation's more recent Facebook posts, the foundation is working on improving Chan's living conditions.

This includes clearing the overgrown trees in the area outside of his house, and building a new structure for him to live in.

Chan also has access to electricity now, as evidenced by the fan that is running inside his room.

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Top image from Phetkasem Foundation/Facebook