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No decomposition proves mom not dead, says family

Two Palermo doctors certify death that relatives won't accept

12 February, 17:25
No decomposition proves mom not dead, says family (ANSA) - Palermo, February 12 - A Palermo family says they are not insane but refuse to accept the death of their mother, despite certificates from two doctors, because after almost a week her body has shown no signs of decomposition.

As some neighbors claim a miracle has occurred, medical officials say Grazia Bruno, a 68-year-old with pancreatic cancer, shows no sign of life, including no heart beat.

But her children maintain their vigil around Bruno's open coffin in her home near Palermo, saying that without evidence of rigor mortis, which would stiffen her body, or signs of decomposition, they cannot accept that she is truly dead.

"I do not want to bury our mother alive," said her son Francesco Passalacqua.

He is supported by neighbors in the village of Villagrazia di Carini, who say it's a miracle and are visiting the blanket-wrapped corpse with a sacred image adjacent.

"We're not mad, we only have the evidence of what has been going on," added Passalacqua, who says the family is waiting for their mother to wake up. "If there were signs of decomposition, we would leave her to rest in peace," he said.

The family hopes this is a case of apparent death, which they say some doctors have said is possible. The official record says Bruno died on February 6 during the evening.