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Woman finally buried after eight-day dispute

Family maintains woman merely in state of 'apparent death'

14 February, 14:22
Woman finally buried after eight-day dispute (ANSA) - Palermo, February 14 - A Sicilian family said Friday they regret burying their mother while, they maintain, she was still alive.

Eight days after Grazia Bruno, a 68-year-old woman with pancreatic cancer, was confirmed dead by two medical authorities, her family maintained she was not really dead but only appeared to have passed away.

During a long standoff with municipal authorities who have wanted to bury Bruno, the family insisted that because the body showed no decomposition or rigor mortis that normally accompanies a corpse, she was not dead.

At Bruno's funeral ceremony in the town of Villagrazia di Carini near the Sicilian capital of Palermo, a priest defended the family's efforts to convince authorities their mother was not dead.

"Anyone in their place would have acted in same way," said priest Antonino Caruso. "Better to err on the side of caution than on indifference and distraction," the priest said during Mass.

The family maintained they had been pushed into a premature internment of their mother.

"For us, we will always regret that we buried our mother while she is still alive".