People deal with loved ones' deaths in a variety of different ways. Here's one example: Jean Stevens, a 91-year-old widow, dealt with her husband's death by digging up his corpse and putting it on a couch in the garage.
Yes, the late James Stevens, a WWII vet and General Electric employee, has spent the last ten years of his, uh, death, sitting on a couch in the Stevens' garage, clad in "a dark suit, white shirt and blue knitted tie." And as if that wasn't creepy enough: Jean did the same thing with her sister, June.
She kept her sister, who was dressed in her "best housecoat," on an old couch in a spare room off the bedroom. Jean sprayed her with expensive perfume that was June's favorite.
"I'd go in, and I'd talk, and I'd forget," Stevens said. "I put glasses on her. When I put the glasses on, it made all the difference in the world. I would fix her up. I'd fix her face up all the time."
She offered a similar rationale for keeping her husband on a couch in the detached garage. James, who had been laid to rest in a nearby cemetery, wore a dark suit, white shirt and blue knitted tie.
"I could see him, I could look at him, I could touch him. Now, some people have a terrible feeling, they say, 'Why do you want to look at a dead person? Oh my gracious,'" she said.
"Well, I felt differently about death."
Oh, my gracious. Stevens is cagey about who helped her dig up the two bodies (June died of cancer in October of last year; James in 1999, of Parkinson's disease) and who was aware of what the AP calls her "odd living arrangement," which was that she was living with two dead bodies, in her house. She says one of James' relatives turned her in; "I think that is dirty, rotten," she told the AP, rather appropriately, and poetically. The police are currently trying to figure out what to charge her with, if anything.
And Jean herself? She seems kind of charming, actually. Obviously, nuts. But charming, too: Michael Rubinkam, the AP reporter, calls her "sweet" and says she used to be a "stunner." She's sort of funny—when the reporter refuses a slice of pie, she says "You're afraid I'll poison you." And the Bradford County coroner, who sounds like a bit of a character himself, says "I got quite an education, to say the least. She's 100 percent cooperative—and a pleasure to talk to." (Well, duh, she had a lot of practice.)