Chinese Parents Store Dead Son’s Body in Freezer for 6 Years

Tian Xueming, a father beside the freezer where he has kept his dead son's body frozen for the past 6 years, ever since his son died from leukemia.

Tian Xueming, a father beside the freezer where he has kept his dead son's body frozen for the past 6 years, ever since his son died from leukemia.

From NetEase (1 & 2):

Elderly Parents Have Stored Son’s Body in Freezer For 6 Years

In 2006, the son of Chongqing City Kai County Fengle Street HUangling Village resident Tian Xueming passed away from leukemia. Tian Xueming stored his son’s body in the freezer, and 6 years have passed. Every time he misses [his son], Tian Xueming and his wife will quietly go, with their arms around each other, stand beside the freezer, look blankly for a moment, and then leave. Tian Xueming says his son “in the freezer looks exactly as he did when he was alive. My son is still with me, and has never left.”

Tian Xueming, a father beside the freezer where he has kept his dead son's body frozen for the past 6 years, ever since his son died from leukemia.

September 25th, Kai County Fengle Street Huangling Village, this is the freezer where Tian Qinyuan’s body is stored, where his father Tian Xueming can go take a look at him when he misses him.

Tian Xueming, a father beside the freezer where he has kept his dead son's body frozen for the past 6 years, ever since his son died from leukemia.

15 years ago, Tian Xueming’s 15-year-old daughter passed away from heatstroke. 6 years ago, his son also departed from the living due to leukemia. TIan Xueming and his wife experienced the pain of two funerals within a 10 year span. Gazing at the lonely freezer placed in the corner, Tian Xueming shed tears, “this may be wrong, but the pain of two funerals, my pain, it’s something others can’t understand.”

Tian Xueming, a Chinese father in Chongqing, China who has kept his dead son's body frozen in a freezer for the past 6 years, ever since his son died from leukemia.

Tian Xueming doing some work in front of his home.

Tian Xueming's home in Chongqing, China.

Tian Xueming’s home.

Comments from NetEase:

东方红108号 [网易美国网友]:

My heart feels very heavy after reading this, may they forget the past soon, and bravely face reality!

mzbyyaini [网易山东省济南市手机网友]:

Poor father, jia you, and live a good life.

donkeyg [网易浙江省温州市手机网友]:

A father’s love is like a mountain, great and mighty.

她是我的国花 [网易北京市手机网友]:

A family of 3-4 children is the optimum choice.

网易上海市手机网友: (responding to above)

Will you not be satisfied until China’s population is 3.1 billion?

网易江苏省南京市手机网友: (responding to above)

Could you understand the sorrow of mourning [the dead]? A family gone like that. And just because China has a large population you would deprive the people of their reproductive rights? Is that reasonable?

kklvsy [网易广东省广州市天河区手机网友]: (responding to above)

[The person behind the first reply] is a good dog, how come you don’t criticize the illegitimate children of the leaders’ mistresses?


Actually it would be better to put his son to rest in the ground. This way if you can’t see him, you’ll also not feel so sad. I imagine each time the old man looks, the pain in his heart gets a bit worse. Seeing his son right before him, yet unable to call him “daddy”! No one can truly understand just how painful it is for you! But you must be strong!

廖真真 [网易浙江省温州市手机网友]:

I cried, just what kind of pain this must be.


Sometimes the reason a person lives is not for themselves.


A human tragedy. I can only wish you well.


That’s heavy.


So scary…

What do you think? Do you or someone you know do something in memory of a departed loved on that may be seen as weird or unhealthy by others?

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Snicker

    It’s sad, but I agree with the comment that you’ve got to let the dead be the dead…being able to look at that lifeless son can’t help anything…ever. Hope he can bury the poor boy and move on with his life – it may be different than he expected, but it doesn’t have to be a lifetime of mourning…

    • Bereaver

      “can’t help anything…ever.”

      Have you ever needed to go to a psychologist? Not everyone reacts the same to every situation and some need something else other than “letting the dead go” to survive with their feeling of having something near and dear lost. Now, I’m not saying that in their current situation and mental stability that they are doing the right thing. I’m just not going to rule out that things could have been worse if they didn’t do this. Suicides do happen. I mean, he lost BOTH of his children. He isn’t young and really able to start over again.

      I agree that I wouldn’t do this, nor would I ever recommend it. I just don’t want to blame him for what he’s doing when I don’t have the same mentality or situation as he does.

    • linette

      Have you ever loved a child? The smell of his/her hair and the sound of her giggle? You held her and carried her around when she was a small baby. She is full of silly questions and so innocent. If given a choice and it’s legal, some parents would want to keep their kid’s body properly preserved and refrigerated.

      • BigJ

        What they should have done was brought their son to a taxidermist. That would have been cheaper then keeping a freezer running for 6 years. You could also put him in cool pose like a Bruce Lee kung fu stance or something. Maybe even put nunchucks in his hands or different weapons from time to time. Shit, you could even change his clothes for special occasions. :)

        For real though for me it would be hard to see my son in that state all stuffed in a freezer. I’d rather remember my son being alive and happy then dead in a freeze in my house, but that’s me And what if his freezer breaks down or the power goes out for a long time, what is he going to do? When the body starts to decompose gases build up in side of the body cavity, when the skin breaks down the gases get released. And that fucking stinks so bad. It’s hard to describe the smell but its like a sweet, sour kind of smell but not in a good way. Like rotting meat but worse.

  • lonetrey

    I feel like this is a little crazy… But part of me just feels so sorry for them.

    I hope one day they’ll give the son a proper burial.

    • Irvin

      Nope, burials are not allowed in china, the best one can hope for is cremation.

      • Wu

        Burials are either too expensive and reserved for famous leaders (Shanghai has a number western-style graveyards still) or done by people with so little money they are burried in nearly-unmarked graves (many farmer’s fields have a mound of stones in the corner with a family members bones).

        In western China they are far more uncommon, but in the North and in the East they are not that rare at all.

      • lonetrey

        hmm. I see. Well, then I hope they give the son a proper cremation.

  • moop

    i know they’re hurting, but give the kid a respectful burial.

  • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

    What happens if there is a black out.

    Just food for thaw.

    • Northerner

      There’s a Japanese movie called ‘Freezer’ which in part deals with that exact situation.

      • Saw that movie
        It was about a crazy jap bitch killing the dudes who raped her.

        • mr. wiener

          Sounds like a remake of :”I spit on your grave”.

    • simon

      talk about frozen in time.

    • Haha
      thank you for that

  • me a

    Is it legal to keep a corpse in your freezer?!?

    • Gao

      No, there are pretty strict laws about burials in China. Most of the time, you have to be cremated. But this seems like the countryside so they are probably more lax on the enforcement of the laws.

      • me a

        No, I’m not talking about burial or cremation, I’m talking about keeping a dead body in your fridge. In other countries you could go to jail for doing that.
        The two parents are suffering, I get that, but this is just sick..

  • Mop

    I want to see the corpse!

    • Nitewings

      i think u already kinda do…

  • What to say… Sad situation.

  • mr. wiener

    None of my beeswax if they want to keep him with them that way. I personally don’t think it’s going to help with the grieving process much, but that’s their business. No weirder than Walt Disney’s head being cryrogenically frozen.
    I just hope they have a back up genny if there is a power outage.

    • donnachadh

      Surely there are health and safety concerns. And there is also the issue of whether the son would want his remains to be kept in a freezer. I know I wouldn’t.

      • mr. wiener

        Health and safety……um China remember.

  • Dat Ankle

    Wow, thats really sad and creepy. It would be best for him to bury his son to be able to move on with his life, but I can understand wanting to still be able to physically see a dead loved one. Still a bit creepy.

  • Brett Hunan

    Really creepy. And that’s all I have to say about this.

    • al

      A lot of shit we do is “creepy”.

      • Kukuku


      • mr. wiener

        Taking a fine piece of monogram silk or linen out of your pocket, BLOWING YOUE NOSE IN IT!!…….Then putting it back in your pocket like it’s some treasure you are saving for later!?!
        Any sane Chinese person could tell you the only place for that booger is on the street, ground in with your heal if you are extra polite.

        It’s a matter of perspective.

        • k

          To be fair I have never seen any one ever use a hankey ever……..everyone ive ever seen blow their nose uses tissue and then throws it away……you really know people who use hankys?

          • Brett Hunan

            Lol my grandad still uses them and I picked up the habit from him. I don’t always carry one but they come in handy. I prefer Irish linen over silk, btw.

          • Chris

            “I have never seen any one use a hankey ever”

            that’s because you’re proletariat trash, you’ll never escape the lower-middle class

          • mr. wiener

            That came out of left field, pretty nasty Chris.

          • Well, I have a some handkerchiefs cuz that my mom gave me a long time ago that I just use as an accessory on the rare occasions that I wear a suit. Actually, I can’t recall ever even taking one out of my pocket to use. I’d certainly never offer a used hankey to a crying lady

          • Rod

            they are in common use, even among young people in the Czech Republic.

          • K

            Chris, why are you so mean to me? What have I ever done to you (aside from being a commentator on the same websites as you)? Why so much animosity towards someone, whom you have no idea about. You sir have no idea who I am in real life, what my or my family’s socio-economic background is, where I am from, what my current income is, what my morals are, etc,. Are you just that angry of a little man? Aren’t you in the military? That’s as pretty working class as it gets, considering you only have to have a HS diploma to do. And I’m sorry, but who gave you the right to look down on working class people? Do you feel like they are below you? Do you always carry around a little pedastool to stand on and be a supercilious c*nt to people who you think you make more money then or are superior to? Chris, IRL I am a licensed elementary teacher in 2 states, and I am currently going to graduate school for my MA in Special education. Yes, the salary for a teacher isn’t great, the average is 35k a year (we do get great benefits, retirement, and vacation time though). So I suppose my teacher salary does put me in “lower middle class”, but I don’t have any problem with being “one of those lower class trash people” because I love my job, I love children, I love the work environment, and if given another job opportunity for twice as much salary, I would turn it down, because I don’t teach to be rich (By the way, I’m also happily married to the father of my child and we both do local community work).So, I might be “lower class trash” according to you Chris, but at least I am happy with my life and with myself as a person :).

          • K

            and Chris, I’m just saying, I have many highly educated friends, some with doctorates in their field and are by no means “lower class” and I’ve never seen them use a hankey to blow their nose and instead used tissues. So that’s what I made that statement. I don’t think you can fairly judge someone’s entire socio-economic background based on the use of handkerchiefs or tissues…..well I guess you can if you are just that much a contemptuous dick.

          • donscarletti

            This is the Internet. People treat each other badly. In this case, it was a cheap, offhand shot that could have been directed anywhere.

            If you find yourself replying with a longer message than his, it means that you’re draining yourself at his expense. Just ignore it.

          • lonetrey

            I guess all of my American friends, Chinese friends, and I are are proletariat trash, lol.

          • The Ger

            I have. My cheap friend has been using cotton hankies for decades now. I once managed to ask him while holding back the gag reflex, why not use tissue. His reply? They’re cheaper. My wife washes them in the general laundry. GAAAAAG!!!

          • mr. wiener

            The only thing worse would be having a ball of used tissue in your pocket and that going through the wash with the rest of your clothes….Yuck.

        • me a

          That would be blowing your nose with your hand then clean your hand on your trousers. One of the few things I’ll never be comfortable with, here in China

  • EnglishPRC

    burial requires a lot of money. from what i know they’re too poor. even rich ppl can’t afford it sometimes

    • Well….when my dad died my we had him cremated and divided his ashes among me, my brother and 4 sisters. My youngest sister and I were given the duty of hurling ourselves out of a plane at 14,000 feet and setting his ashes free into the sky. (My dad was a pilot and skydiving “wacko” with thousands of jumps over his lifetime) I have video of the event and if you watch it you will look like you been chopping onions even if you never met the guy. I think the whole thing was less than $500 dollars including the cameraman and we just figured that was what he would have wanted and it was the coolest fucking funeral ever. I never even thought about how much money we saved by going this route until you add up the cost of a cemetary plot, casket, burial fees and all that(not that money was even an issue)

      My brother works for the space program and managed to get his portion of the ashes shot into outer space via a missile at Vandenberg AFB and my older sister scattered hers into the surf at Huntington Beach where he was a lifeguard for several years and avid surfer. Even after he died, my dad isn’t one to sit around on his ass.

      But putting a corpse in a freezer is kind of creative. (Ok, not really. I’m just trying to be polite and respect the dead)

      • mr. wiener

        There is shelf life to consider.

      • mr. wiener

        Your dad sounded like a hell of a fella by the way.

  • Getrealson

    Poor bastard! I hope he finds peace. too sad.

  • dr_barefoot

    hey don’t bash. it’s good to have something handy to snack on.

    • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

      The trouble with eating Chinese is that you will be hungry again so soon after. .

  • Dan

    The top 2 photos are really nice. Kudos to whoever took them

  • althepict

    Remaining question:
    Can a soul move on if the body’s remains remain in a freezer?
    Answers on a postcard, please.

  • MrT

    How to Freeze the Body After Death


    1: The cryogenic freezing process comes with a steep price tag. In fact, it can cost you $125,000 for a full body freeze, and to have your brain frozen will cost you $58,000, according to rates from BBC. The intended freezee has to pay up front or have the money set aside at the time of death.

    2: Put the body in a steel tube. Once the body is dead and stripped of any personal items such as clothing and jewelry, the body is inserted into a cylindrical steel chamber. These tubes are airtight and generally located in a lab.

    3: Surround the steel chambers housing the bodies in another chamber that is filled with liquid nitrogen. This chamber is kept at -196 degrees Celsius.

    4: Let liquid nitrogen freeze the body. When the body has spent adequate time in the chamber with the liquid nitrogen, it will be successfully frozen and the decaying process suspended. As the liquid nitrogen is powerful and freezes the body’s cells, they will not deteriorate as is the standard case for a body after death.

    5: Maintain conditions in the chamber. Keeping the body in the necessary -196 degree chamber is vital to keeping the body frozen. Once in this state it can be preserved for virtually however long is wished.

    Hes just doing it on the cheap, fair play to him.

    • simon

      wow, this is insane… do they do this in hope that they can be revived in the future or something.

      • MrT

        yea they will pop em in the microwave on defrost when they ready.

      • Irvin

        Just because it’s frozen doesn’t mean it can be revive, if you don’t believe me just put a chicken leg on the freezer for a few months or years and you’ll start to see them go dark.

        Dead flesh is dead frozen or not.

  • Wayne

    If they put a coat of paint on that house that’s be a nice place in the countryside for sure. Sure would beat living in the crowded city. Nice garden and pond as well.

  • althepict

    Think, if I were the father, I’d clear that room out to look more like a shrine, which it has obviously become, rather than a garage, which it obviously is not, unless we count the parking of cadavers.

  • Bill Stack

    A chilling story.
    Do they stick him outside on Halloween?

  • Song of the Article

    Cover song by some Chinese punk band

    -KKK took my baby away


    • Boris

      Wrong track, amateur:
      ‘We’re a happy family,
      We’re a happy family,
      We’re a happy family,
      Me, Mom and Daddy.’

  • I wonder if they put him in a jacket? I use to get told that I should wear a jacket when it would be 78F out.

  • Li RuiKe

    Exactly like keeping Mao’s dead “body” around for spectators. Demented.

    • Snicker

      Exactly like keeping Mao’s “dead” body around……

      Get your quotes right, bud!


  • linette

    This is so heart breaking. I am crying. :( No pain is greater than parents watching their children hurt or die.

    • MrT

      11.20pm, are you still crying?

    • long dong

      It’s sad to see any parents go through this, This just to show how much love from the parents to their children. But yet in the middle east there are a lot of parents kill their girls in the name of “Honor killing”. I don’t get that!

  • Cleo

    I can imagine some obnoxious neighbor taking it upon themselves to interfere and unplug the freezer to HELP the parents. It’s really none of our business. I’m sorry this even made the news because the way Chinese social circles work – they’ll get bored with talking about it in the teahouse and decide to be rude and do something about this – because it looks like a quiet small community where every one is afraid of offending others and that’s when aggression will emerge. It’s like when someone unbidden decides to do something to your property – because they feel like it and fellow villagers do have that overfamiliarity problem.

  • linette

    The two photos on the top is so sad and beautiful..and so silence. It really captured the sadness of the father.

    What a beautiful house. So peaceful away from the crazy cities. China is truly a very beautiful country. Many places are so green and so big. A lot of mountains and valleys. So beautiful. If only the china go’v t would stop polluting and killing their lands. If only China gov’t would reform and give better gov’t system like healthcare, educations, welfare to all. Better food building regulations. It’s a very beautiful country.

    • MrT

      You sound like one of them political HK types. On drugs.

  • Harland

    Brings a new meaning to the word, “coffin freezer”.

  • ThinkBlue

    I think I saw the same story on

  • Cheong

    As an old Chinese Taoist/Buddhist.
    Namo Orr Lii Tau Futt

    May our Goddess of Mercy (Kwan Yin) & Lord Buddha bless his soul.

    Normally I am just a reader in this website would not post any comment unless necessary except twice earlier, one in the Philippine Hostage & the article on 2 Chinese students in a BMW that were killed in US of A.

    But this time I have to say a prayer for the deceased & most of all to say thanks to most of the regular posters here.

    Well, this is the first time that none of you (China’ bashers) have bashed Chinese and or China.

    This goes to shows that you all have a heart, too, yea, pls have a heart
    and have feeling, too, yea,yea, yea, pls have a feeling, too.

    Deep down, I suppose everyone has feeling & emotion & most of all a heart, a kind heart, I suppose.

    So as an old Chinese Taoist/Buddhist, from the bottom of my heart with great sincerity, I would like to thank you for not bashing us Chinese and or China, for once. Yea, for once but I am sure the usual madness will come back later in other postings.
    But please, no bashing in posting/article.

    May Our Goddess of Mercy (Kwan Yin) & Lord Buddha bless you all.

    • although its sad their sun passed away. people like these are proof jesus can’t reach chinese society

      • MrT

        Jesus is dead also, so cant reach anyone.
        But you can find him buried at the Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar, India.

  • Oh Dear!

    they don’t say hold old the son is. He can’t be that old, the freezer is very small.

    • MrT

      they chopped up him into joints to get him all in there.

      • linette

        Mr T…get lost. It’s not a funny matter. That boy apparently is small. Maybe very skinny died of leukemia. The old man and his old woman don’t want to let go. They are old and have nothing left. Give them at least this little respect.

        • MrT

          sorry I forgot you still in mourning and crying your little heart out.
          You are still crying yes?

          • mr. wiener

            What does the “T” stand for?

          • Thupid guy?

          • mr. wiener

            I would have said “Turd”. If so his tag line could be: “I pity the stool!! “

          • Dan

            i lol’d way too hard at that mr wiener

          • MrT

            T = TWT

    • Whirly Pop

      no, it’s big enough. they probably placed the son in a fetal position.

  • david

    its sad. but honestly its also sick.

    ive lost 4 people in my family, my dad, 2 brothers and a sister.
    i would not keep them in a freezer just because I can’t face reality.

    in truth what he has done here is denied the fact of life that people die and we need to let them go.

    its very hard to do but in the end its the right thing

    death is a natural part of life and if we try to deny that then we are just not doing the right thing.

    what’s next Wang Frankenstein?

    • Andy

      “Wang Frankenstein” – Wangkenstein ! LOL.
      Being made in China his legs would fall off when he took his first step.

  • These are the articles that really illuminate differences in ideology. After reading through the Chinese comments, I predicted that the English ones would be filled with wriggles and muffled outrage, as this type of behavior is alien to the Western funeral traditions. How people treat their dead is one of the larger variables, the traditions that look so normal from the inside but bizarre on the out. That makes this so valuable for gaining a deeper understanding of difference. Although I wish the English would be a little less predictable. It’s like this site draws the average, kneejerk, common denominator crowd. There’s so little insightful analysis on what is in fact such a great project.

    • Boris


    • Harland

      What do you expect from a site that ignores everything normal and concentrates on the bizarre and sensational? This site wouldn’t exist if it didn’t play to Western conceptions of “that is so weird”. It’s on the level of the foreigner who takes a photo of a squat toilet to show the folks back home.

      • MrT

        its a bitch when you drop your camera in them squat holes I tell ya!

  • phranky

    This is really sad. Almost made me cry! Be strong ol’ man!

  • mr. mike

    My first thought: “It’s Chinese Lenin!”

    I know it was horrifying losing two children like that, but sooner or later the parents will have to give up the body of Tian Qinyuan. Hopefully that realization will be made by Mr. and Mrs. Tian, and not by the state or a long power outage.

  • Me

    Well we can all be happy that this particular family bloodline will end here. We do not need this family to continue being present on Earth. How about instead of spending time storing dead bodies in your shit-hole home, spend time fixing the place up instead. The father’s probably a drunk. Daughter died of heatstroke? Let the kid sit in the shade now and then – fucking idiots.

    • mr. mike

      You stink.

  • Jin Ch’in

    They are not hurting anyone and its a rural area! let them mourn the way they want and leave them alone. People can be such nosy opinionated know it all live your own life and leave others alone if it doesn’t concern you.

  • Fran

    In China , it will be a disaster for the old generation if they live with no children