Man Keeps Dead Son in a Freezer
A devastated father has kept his 18-year-old son's dead body in a chest freezer for the last six years because it makes him feel he has 'never left'.
Tian Xueming, of Huangling, near southern China's giant Chongqing mega-city, has refused all requests to move son Qinyuan's body to a family tomb.
And the 54-year-old carpenter has even set up a series of back-up electricity generators to keep the freezer running during the district's frequent power cuts.
Mr Xueming said: 'It makes me feel as if my son has never left me.
Frozen: Mr Xueming has set up back-up electricity generators to keep the freezer running during the frequent power cuts in the area
'When my wife and I want to talk to him we can just pull up some chairs, lift the lid and chat to him as if he had never been taken from us.'
Mr Xueming and his wife were left devastated when they discovered their son had leukaemia - he said Qinyuan was the only thing which kept the pair going following the death of their first child.
The married couple's daughter died at home at the age of 15 after she collapsed one hot day in summer.
He said: 'It took ages for the ambulance to arrive and I blamed myself - by the time rescuers arrived there was nothing else that could be done to save her.
'I should have taken her to hospital myself but I kept thinking they would arrive at any minute - I will never forgive myself.
'My son was the only thing that was keeping us going.'
Mr Xueming said his 'clever' son had just started college, where he was doing well, before they learned he was seriously ill.
'Then just a short while later we received the terrible news that Qinyuan was sick and after tests we found out he had leukaemia, and that there was nothing more that could be done to save him', he said.
'We were devastated. We visited many doctors but there was nothing else we could do.
'I just prayed we would not lose him.
'When he died I just couldn't face never seeing my child again so we decided to put him in a freezer to preserve his body.'
Mr Xueming came up with the idea of keeping his son's body in the freezer shortly after he died. He consulted his wife who also thought it would be a good idea.
He said: 'Not many people knew at first what we had done as we did not want anyone to find out. We kept it a secret for a long time. But over the years the news spread.
'People have tried to persuade us to bury Qinyuan but I always say no.'
Mr Xueming and his wife still visit their son's body, which they say helps them to deal with their problems.
He said: 'My wife Yang Hongying visits our son regularly too. Since Qinyuan died she has problems. Whenever she cannot sleep she goes to the freezer, opens it up and says hello.
'My son would be 24-years-old now - he would be at college and enjoying the prime of his life.
'I just cannot bear the though that I would never see him again.
One neighbour told local people that the parents said having him there was as if he was still alive, as if he was having a long sleep.
She said the pair sometimes spend hours there together just thinking about the good times they spent together as a family.
Mr Xueming said: 'One day the time will come when his mother and I can no longer look after him and we will then give him a proper burial, but now is not the time.
'When the time is right we will give him the most dignified burial and have a celebration of his life, and invite everyone to pay there respects to him. But later.'