Today I am musing about mail one receives after they have passed away. As genealogists we are concerned with the documentation that our ancestors left behind. At the time of death, there is alot of documentation floating around. When my Dad died last year, I realized how much the survivors must do to settle the affairs of a loved one. The death certificate must be sent hither and yon. There are forms to be filled out, copies to be made, and copies to be sent back. But, I never thought that I would say “stop sending proof of my Dad’s existence!”
You spend months doing this–informing everyone from the life insurance company to organizations that the person on their mailing lists has passed away.
And, then the mail keeps coming. You send out more copies of the death certificate and more letters informing people he has passed away. You think “There! It’s done.” But, it’s not. Because the mail keeps coming and coming.
My Dad died over a year ago. I recently sent out 4 more death certificates to organizations to let them know he had passed away. I’ve contacted a couple of groups numerous times to have my Dad removed from the mailing list.
You can inform the Post Office that the person is deceased, you can write notes on envelopes, you can send it all back with a nice letter, and you can even send the very official death certificate as proof. Still, the mail comes. It isn’t all junk mail. Some are from groups he belonged to, places he worked, and so forth. No matter how many times you inform them, they just don’t seem to get it.
I bet I’ll still be getting mail from the VFW and the Baker’s Union five years from now telling my Dad all the great stuff going on. Maybe I should do like a friend did. The next piece of mail I get have it forwarded to the mortuary. That was his last known residence after all.
It does make you wonder why then certain relatives seem to leave behind no paper trail. It’s obvious to me that the paper trail never goes away. Though I think this could explain how stuff gets thrown out. You get overwhelmed with all the paperwork and all the new mail coming in. It’s a little bit disconcerting to continue to get mail for someone who has passed away and at a point you just get tired of it.