Creepy and annoying

Jean Stevens was a lonely old lady with an unpleasant obsession. She dug up her dead twin sister and husband and kept the corpses in her house, dressing them up and offering them tea and talking to them. That’s a little disturbing, but mostly harmless — except that you can’t help but think that she’d be a lot happier with living company.

But here’s the annoying part. They just had to interview a psychiatrist about it (that’s actually a good idea), but then they got a singularly cluelless one.

Dr. Helen Lavretsky, a psychiatry professor at UCLA who researches how the elderly view death and dying, said people who aren’t particularly spiritual or religious often have a difficult time with death because they fear that death is truly the end.

For them, “death doesn’t exist,” she said. “They deny death.”

Say what? That makes no sense. Everyone has a difficult time with death, no matter what they think of religion. And good grief, atheists don’t deny death. This is a woman who seems to have never spoken to one.

And what makes it even more annoying, is that this opinion is completely irrelevant. From the rest of the story, Jean Stevens is not an atheist. She talks about a creator god and worries about what happens after death.