It’s unfortunate she lost her guy and their son will never meet his father.
I don’t have a problem with the composite photo. If it is what Sierra asked for and she is happy with the result, that’s awesome. Having an image of Lane shopped into the photo with partial opacity makes a degree of sense. In ten or fifteen years she is going to be asked about the photo by Taos. It makes it more straight forward to explain how the photo came to be and it is clear Lane was not standing there when the photo was taken. It is making news but it’s not a news photo so there is no reason to hold it to news photo standards.
I’m not sure what message might be sent to others. One message being sent is that there are photographers that can manipulate a photo to include what you (or they) want. A similar message is that just because you see it in a photo there is no guarantee that it reflects reality. Both of these are pretty good messages. Other messages might be a bit creepy. The notion that our deceased relatives are somehow transported to heaven where they can look down on us has been around a long time. That’s a bit creepy! Who wants their deceased parents looking in on them while engaged in sex? That whole bit about martyrs getting 72 virgins in the next life is just as creepy! Sometimes it’s important to remember God did not create man; man created God.
Beyond all the religious nonsense, there have been ghost stories for centuries. Many of us grew up watching cartoons of Casper the Friendly Ghost. “Ghost” was one of Patrick Swayze’s movies, and unfortunately,now, he is a ghost, you can see him in all his old movies. Have you seen the videos of Elvis singing with someone who is still living? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7OFl3TJSUk
I think it’s fair to say most people will bring their personal baggage to a viewing of any photo.