Six Years Later, I Still Get My Dead Mother’s Mail


My mom died almost six years ago from pancreatic cancer. What you can’t avoid, even in the afterlife, it seems, is spam mail.

At first, it was a bit unnerving. It was a strong and constant reminder of the grief my family was facing to see her name on the mail without her being around to receive it. Obviously my family has told the bank, the doctor’s office, and other major institutions of her passing, so over time, the mail with her name on it has appeared less frequently. But every once in a while, even after six years, we still get the occasional letter addressed with her name on it.

We don’t even live at the same address anymore — my family has actually moved twice — and yet, we still receive mail with her name on it at the new address. It’s one of many things you certainly don’t realize or think about in regards to death — that the person will still receive mail, long after they’ve passed.

Sometimes, I like to think of it as her just saying, “Hi,” when my family receives mail with her name on it at our new address. At first I found sadness to see her name, but now, as more time has passed, I find comfort in it. She still exists somewhere, even if it’s just in my memory.

To see that physical reminder of her name helps me remember that she once existed. She was a living being once in a physical body, not just floating around in the ethers of my memory as she is now.

She got mail, she ran errands, she cooked dinner, she bought groceries, she had feelings, she worked on a ranch, she cleaned, she took care of our family, she took walks on the beach, she played with our dog. She was a real person. And I believe that she, like all lost loved ones, certainly still exists somewhere. The mail is evidence of it.