Sharon Bailey died at her daughter’s home in a bed with a dark wood headboard that she bought more than 50 years earlier, around the time she got married. Her daughters, Laura and Beth, gently washed her body with soapy water. They rubbed rose-scented salve on her skin and dressed her in brown trousers, a brown turtleneck and a pretty pink fleece.

Under her hips and shoulders, on top of fresh sheets, they placed small bags of dry ice.

Bailey remained there for three days. About two dozen visitors said their good-byes to the 72-year-old former teacher in a serene room near a bouquet of red roses and a few candles.

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Photo: Beth Bailey Barbeau


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