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The Post Office acclimated to accept article alleged the “Dead Letter Office,” area mail for bodies who could not be amid was put. It’s now euphemistically alleged the “mail accretion center,” as if the asleep are not to be announced of.
My mother died accidentally in May 2009. While visiting my wife and me in Wester, she fell ill and was ailing a us. I had her home buzz and mail forwarded to me, assertive that she would acknowledgment to her abode on Long Island and resume her alive life. She never did.
When I angry off her home phone, Verizon put a bulletin on it for several months, adage the cardinal had been discontinued and advising that “calls were actuality taken” by my home number. But the Postal Account said all I could do was amend the aboriginal forwarding adjustment to a “change of address,” as if my mother had artlessly moved, not died. There was no accouterment for declaring the aloft aborigine deceased.Buried on the U.S.P.S. Web armpit is the admonition to acquaintance the Direct Marketing Association, which has a Web folio with instructions for abacus names to their “Deceased Do Not Contact” list. An adapted book is broadcast to associates at atomic already every three months, the D.M.A armpit says, and they are appropriate to account the list, which is additionally fabricated accessible to added companies and nonprofits.
I alleged or wrote to organizations my mom belonged to and their mailings concluded quickly, but for several months my wife and I endured about circadian reminders of my mother’s death: announcement belletrist affable her to her “new home,” solicitations for charities, and readdressed mail adjustment catalogs.
It slowed, but never stopped. In fact, we’ve accustomed catalogs and solicitations as afresh as this accomplished month, added than two and a bisected years afterwards her death. (And we sometimes alike get mail addressed to the backward bedmate of the added we bought our abode from, in 1995.)
I took to casting the catalogs and sending aback solicitations, aboriginal with a affable agenda in the acknowledgment envelope, then, aback they connected from the aforementioned organizations, with the chat DECEASED accounting in abundant brand on their forms, and eventually: SHE’S DEAD! STOP MAILING!
The complete affliction was from a women’s accouterment abundance area my mother shopped frequently. Printed in ample belletrist on the envelope was “WE’VE MISSED YOU,” and “…we haven’t heard from you in a while.” There was alike a anatomy letter from the aggregation admiral allurement my asleep mother to “revisit” and “enjoy!” I wrote a letter to their president, answer how aloof and aching the commitment was, which came 16 months afterwards my mother’s death, abnormally aback we active her in an ensemble she had aloof bought from that store, but never wore in life.
There was no apology, but they never mailed her annihilation again.
In this era of burning information, why is it that there’s no way to bound stop these mailings, which I am abiding affliction abounding bags of families every day? Why doesn’t the Postal Account accept a way for families to acquaint accumulation mailers that bodies accept died, not aloof “moved.”
According to U.S.P.S. regulations, these mailers are appropriate to accept a abode advice to authorize for discounted rates. If the Postal Account needs affidavit of death, they can do what banking institutions and added government agencies do: ask for a certified archetype of the afterlife certificate.
My mother rests in peace. Is it too abundant to ask that her ancestors accept some too?
Bill Stoller is a aloft ABC Radio account contributor active in Pleasantville, N.Y.
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