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PA widow, 91, lived with corpses of her husband, twin sister (Death and the ones left behind)

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posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 10:56 AM
Mods, I placed this thread in this area as I saw no other appropriate areas and, I would like to expand this topic to the mental stability of the ones who are left here on Earth when a loved-one passes on to the next world/phase of life-death.

WYALUSING, Pa. — The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn't alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister.

Jean Stevens, 91, holds a photograph from the 1940s of herself and her late husband, James, outside her home in Wyalusing, Pa. Authorities say Stevens stored the bodies of her husband, who died in 1999, and her twin, who died in October 2009, on her property.

WYALUSING, Pa. — The 91-year-old widow lived by herself in a tumbledown house on a desolate country road. But she wasn't alone, not really, not as long as she could visit her husband and twin sister. No matter they were already dead. Jean Stevens simply had their embalmed corpses dug up and stored them at her house — in the case of her late husband, for more than a decade — tending to the remains as best she could until police were finally tipped off last month. Much to her dismay. "Death is very hard for me to take," Stevens told an interviewer.

As state police finish their investigation into a singularly macabre case — no charges have been filed — Stevens wishes she could be reunited with James Stevens, her husband of nearly 60 years who died in 1999, and June Stevens, the twin who died last October. But their bodies are with the Bradford County coroner now, off-limits to the woman who loved them best.

Stevens, she said, "came up with a very extreme expression of it. She got her bodies back, and she felt fulfilled by having them at home. She's beating death by bringing them back." There was another reason that Stevens wanted them above ground. She is severely claustrophobic and so was her sister; she was horrified that the bodies of her loved ones would spend eternity in a casket in the ground. "That's suffocation to me, even though you aren't breathing," she said. So she said she had them dug up, both within days of burial.

Source (the rest of the story):

So, I read this story today and for the 1st time in my life, I was overwhelmed by the sadness of Death. Read the story. What would you do? Can you blame her? Should she be blamed? Should we take another look at death and the afterlife-in our world!

When I think of this woman I came up with two paths of thought:

1: I totally can understand (not agree with) how she came to believe that by doing what she was doing was out of love she had for both the husband and her twin sister. All those years together with someone and being so close etc. Oh, the remorse when they pass on. How does one honor a passed loved one? Should we even have a decision on how someone wish to display their remorse or how they deal with death? So many questions.

I know in my own life that if my wife passes before me, I would be crazy/insane. She is the other part of me. Now, will digging her up and putting her in the house be okay? Well, not now but what happens when I am 91? The biggest love of my life-gone? What will ones mind think then?

2: Then I came to think how selfish of this person, to deny those loved ones peace in death. Who is she to have them dug up and placed in her house? Who went along with this? How COULD SHE!!!! What a violation of everyday law and living in society. She should be ashmed!!

Where do we fall on this one? Easy to say she is crazy/touched/mental etc but is she? Isn't she just trying to preserve her life? (as she knows it). What's wrong with that? Was anyone really hurt in this ordeal? Maybe a life was saved/prolonged by her actions?

I never thought of Death much but as I get older, you can't help but think about it-every once in a while. So, what do you think you would/will do when all your loved ones have passed?

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:06 AM
Easiest to say she's lonely. Very lonely.

Have you ever read Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily"? It has the same theme as this woman's story. You should check it out.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:11 AM
Wow, I was just thinking about this yesterday, because I was playing red dead redemption and they had a caractor just like this in the game.

I thought, I wonder how many people have been that messed up in the head to do this?

Obviously, it happens...

watch this:

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:11 AM
Those bodies she kept are but the remains of her family. If she is the only family of those 2 bodies, then what better place for those bodies then there were they are loved.

As for law violation, the people who died inside those 2 bodies, their spirits have already moved on. They do not experience any hinder or obstruction.

I think the lady has every right to do what she feels is best with the remains, who else could decide over the bodies of your family, nobody.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:13 AM

I couldn't resist


posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 11:15 AM
Just a few years ago there was a similar case in Evanston, Il.

A nice old house, immaculate garden, nice neighborhood, and a little old lady with her brothers and sisters and husband all living there, except they were all dead.

Apparently they just died one by one and the bodies were left inside, probably with a special place or shrine for each one. The odd part is that the siblings were all for it, because they died years, decades apart...must have been a close family.

Never really kept up with the story, and it was sort of hushed by the media.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 12:07 PM
Amazing how reality often parallels fiction. Or is it the other way around??

My big question concerns who actually exhumed the bodies in the first place? and Who helped this woman transport them?? That info. will be released later...

This is sad and disturbing especially when she describes spraying her sister with perfume and "fixing up her face". Just wow!

I truly believe in resting in peace and if my wife wants me around after my death she can keep me handy in an urn on the mantle or in a coffee can in the pantry. I prefer not to be propped up on a sofa in the garage.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 12:14 PM
It hasn't been that long ago in the grand scheme of things that family prepared family for burial. People were laid out in the parlor and washed and dressed by family members. Morticians haven't been around all that long.

As far as her keeping their bodies at home, I put it down to her age. She knows that at her age her time is short and she wished to be with those that loved her and those she loved. I won't choose whether she was right or wrong but I will say that her husband and sister don't really care what she did with their house/shell/body.

Edited to add that I feel sorry for her. To have kept the bodies as long as she did without getting "caught" implies that she had no visitors and no family to help her get over the grieving process, to care for her, and to spend time with her.

[edit on 6/7/2010 by SeenMyShare]

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by Mr Headshot

Thank you for your reply. No, I haven't heard of that. I will check it out-on a dark raining day I presume-lol.

Very interesting replies. I have been thinking about this one more-since I posted. I'm torn. Seriously. He was HER husband. It was HER sister-who had no one. She was taking care of them-in her own way. And as one posted, mortiicians haven't been around that long.

Maybe they did things differently. Now, I married a girl from that area (about 8 miles away) and I can tell you that I NEVER saw or heard of this type of thing being common place (and she had a chitload of old relatives).

But anyway, is that woman crazy, lonely or insane/mental (grief stricken-in denial).

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 12:58 PM
I don't know if I'd say she's "sick" or "crazy". More like unprepared. One way or another she lived her entire life without finding a way to accommodate death and endings in to her worldview, and now that she's hurtling toward the yawning maw of the grave she's doing what she can to affirm to herself that it isn't real. She's got some heavy karma to sort out.

On a related topic, there's something I was hoping some of you might be able to clarify for me. I was born and have been raised in western society, but I've never been able to understand some of the western beliefs regarding death and corpses that no one has been able to explain to me yet.

Why is it 'wrong' to disturb a corpse?

Why does "resting in peace" equate to "having one's corpse buried in a box"?

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:03 PM
Bumping your thread because i posted a duplicate story and feel bad

I dont know if im disgusted or heartwarmed. somehow a part of me wishes for someone to love me soo much that this would seem sane to them. on the other hand if she is this clingy after death, how needy was she when he was alive..


posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:21 PM

Originally posted by anon72
What would you do?

i think i'd try to find her a trustworthy live-in companion.

Can you blame her? Should she be blamed?

she didn't hurt anyone, imo. it was probably not very healthy, just in the physical sense, but she seems fine and she was all alone so her actions affected her only.

she's old and sad. there's no reason to be anything but kind and merciful to her.

Should we take another look at death and the afterlife-in our world!

definitely. i already have...many times. it is worth a hard examination and deep investigation!

2: Then I came to think how selfish of this person, to deny those loved ones peace in death.

i know many people see these things with that sort of perspective, but i don't. i can't. i don't see how she's denying anyone's peace in death because once the body is left behind, it is just a former biological system that's become an entropy system until it is totally dismantled and returned as chemical elements to the earth.

it is she that is lacking peace, if anyone is, out of the three, and it's in life, not death. but what would she feel she had to live for?

Where do we fall on this one? Easy to say she is crazy/touched/mental etc but is she?

dysfunctional grieving process, maybe, but that's not a psych disorder, technically speaking. a lot of people do not grieve well. there are is a certain order of feelings/emotions/reactions that have been established, and generally accepted, as common to all normal grieving processes in healthy adults. this "grieving process" was introduced by Elisabeth Kubler Ross 40 years ago. there is some criticism of it not being valid, it seems, but i don't know the credentials or experience of the critics. i do know, after working for 11 years with the elderly and terminally ill from cancer and other chronic diseases, as an RN, that Kubler Ross's model is pretty much applicable to just about everyone.

sometimes all the stages aren't completed, if death comes before they can finish the process, but the order is the same! if the dying person has some mental impairments of any kind, there isn't always the same orderly progression, but somehow their needs dictate their grief and it still is addressing the same 5 stages but in a variety of ways. in other words, the responses vary due to mental function but the same stages present themselves.

when there is no one around to help a person stay rooted in life, it can get weird!

i wonder what her sister's part in all of it was, seeing how she lived many years with her sister and dead brother-in-law?!?

Isn't she just trying to preserve her life? (as she knows it).

somehow, yes, i think so. or maybe it's more about her own fear of death, her own death - and so she coped with that in this manner. if that makes sense. i think that's probably closer to the truth as far as WHY.

What's wrong with that?


Was anyone really hurt in this ordeal?


Maybe a life was saved/prolonged by her actions?

i don't follow you on that one. whose life would it have been? her own?

So, what do you think you would/will do when all your loved ones have passed?

well, to tell you the truth, most of them already have. maybe 85% or 90% of the people that have meant the most to me, in my entire life, crossed over some time ago, before i was in my 30's. my dad was the last, i guess, when i was 29.

since then, thank GOD, it's been slower than christmas for the angel of death at my house - i'm holding steady and i have my mom and bf.

so really, in more than one way, my life has been very intimate with the subject of death and mourning and grief.

all in all, i handled it well and i have a peace of mind that most people twice my age don't yet have.

it's good but it's sad.
it's just life!

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:36 PM
reply to post by Mr Headshot

That was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this, and clicked on it...

So very sad. So very lonely. 91 years old, and to lose a twin and a husband, at nearly the same time? I can't even begin to imagine...

She's done nothing wrong.

Deaths other victims. The one's who remain behind when our loved ones go to where ever it is we go when we shuffle off this mortal coil... Even were this somehow punishable, why would you? She's alone, like she's never been in her life...certainly punishment enough should someone be so inclined.

My heart goes out to her.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by queenannie38

Thank you for that awesome response. You deserve a flag-but a star will have to do.

You put some things in my head I got to think about. But I do try to remember: Life is for the Living, Death is for the dead.

The whole process of grief you described. I have heard of it and believe in it. It just sucks when it is your loved one-no matter how much you understand it. The importand thing is how ones comes out of it-cooping with the loss etc.

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 02:05 PM
I honestly don't understand why people care about corpses so much anyway, whether it is being thrown in a ditch or set on fire. This woman went one step further i guess, but as long as other family members were alright with it then i don't see the problem. I personally think that as soon as you die your body should go to the medical community so that it can do some good, but that's just me. We all handle grief differently i guess....

posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 02:39 PM
Ugh!!! My heart aches for her. I can empathize. How lonely she had to have been. I remember my Nanny and Pap-Pap, my grandma and grandpa, and the heartbreak they carried with them everyday for the rest of their lives after my aunt died. I would hear My Nanny sob in her bed sometimes, saying how much she missed her over and over again, twenty years later at that. She sounded as if it were yesterday.
When My Pap-Pap died she was physically ill for wks. Every time she passed their pictures on the wall she'd kiss her two fingers and 'gave' them to Him and my aunt. She completely gave up and died from heartbreak. I cant imagine living that feeling of pain, with your heart wrenching in your chest until Your very last breath.
I feel for this lady so much. I'm literally sobbing for everyone one of them. Life is a hard lesson to learn.


posted on Jul, 6 2010 @ 08:58 PM
Update: The count District Attoney said the woman maybe able to keep the bodies on her property-IF she has a cript built. Sounds reasonal enought but at her age...... I doubt it.

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