How to Know When It’s Okay to Kiss a Corpse

Is it okay to plant one on a passed-away one, to smoochie the bouchie of a corpus not-so-delicti, to do it to a deady, to have at ‘er with a cadaver, to kiss a corpse?

If it is okay, under certain circumstances, what circumstances would permit such a thing? And how far should the kiss go? Where’s the line between a tender ‘good-bye’ and an unrequited, passionate ‘hello there’? At what point do you go from ‘survived by…’ to ‘Hello Dolly! Fancy a cold, stiff one?!’ ?

I’m not going to tell you what my idea of  ‘too far’ is for a corpse kissing any more than I would tell you to back it off a bit if you kissed a breather (unless the breather is me) but I would guess that if you keep it brief and tongue-free, you should be pretty safe in most situations.

Neither my culture (UK-Canadian beige) nor my religion (Anglican/Catholic Lite) forbid me from kissing the cheek of a departed loved one, so at least my places in society and Heaven won’t suffer because of it — at least until I do something stupid and get on one or the other’s shit list.

Dad in Banff in 1980
Dad in Banff in 1980

So, based on my personal experience, it’s okay to kiss a corpse when it’s your father and you’re saying good-bye for the last time. I gave Dad that last kiss on the cheek twenty-six years ago this week. I would have done the same for anyone I cared so deeply for that the ache of their absence can still periodically flood back after more than a quarter century later.

TO SUMMARIZE: It’s okay to kiss a corpse:

  1. When you love them.
  2. When it doesn’t violate any of your (or the corpse’s!) cultural or religious mores.
  3. After the body is prepped for viewing OR on the battlefield after the deceased gave their life to save yours.
  4. When you’ve stopped crying, so your tears don’t mess up the corpse’s make-up.

And that’s all for this week’s morbid “How To”.  Aren’t you glad you asked? *L*

Ciao for now.


P.S. Miss you, Dad.

(Next Week: How to Catch a Rabid Squirrel (and why!)

Words & Images Copyright Timothy G.M. Reynolds


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