(NPR) After Tragedy, Nonbelievers Find Other Ways To Cope

[BARBARA BRADLEY] HAGERTY: Eric was her husband for 20 years. After they married, he flew F-15s in the Air Force, and then he became a test pilot in Wichita for the airplane manufacturer Bombardier. On October 10, 2000, the plane Eric was co-piloting crashed on takeoff. When Carol arrived at Via Christi Hospital, she learned that her husband had burns over 50 percent of his body.

[CAROL] FIORE: Then I found out they he had been given him his last rites.

HAGERTY: Not a surprise, since Via Christi is a Catholic hospital. But even after Carol announced that Eric would not want anyone praying for him, a priest hovered and prayed, day after day. Finally, she kicked the priest out.

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