A lot of novels state that a person died with a smile on the face, or how relatives/friends notice a smile on the face that remains even after death.

Is such a thing anatomically possible? Will a smile or any other expression be retained by the muscles at/after death? (without external assistance from say a mortician)

And which expression is most common at death? (once skin and muscles die, after death, during rigor and after rigor passes, when undisturbed)

  • 3
    I have witnessed the death of a good friend (euthanasia). She literally died with a smile on her face. So yes it is possible. Oct 8 '18 at 12:48
  • 1
    Cadaveric spasm often crystallizes the last activity one did before death- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaveric_spasm. that includes smiles
    – kit
    May 30 '21 at 11:24

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