I got an email from the United States Postal Service this week. It was a notification that my mail–or rather, my sister’s mail–would no longer be forwarded to my address, effective June 15th–one year after I sent in a change of address form. As the anniversary of her death approaches this month, there are so many such reminders of the passage of time. One year, almost.
I’ve been getting lots of mail addressed to her this past year, with the usual pleas for donations and urgent reminders to re-subscribe to the many arts organizations and museums she had joined. For a while, I returned the pledge cards or subscription forms with a short note: She is deceased. Please remove her name from your mailing lists. Well, good luck with that. I went online to one of those unsubscribe services, and that may have worked on a couple of things. But the charitable organizations she left generous gifts to keep returning to the well, ever hopeful that somehow she will give them more from the great beyond. I finally picked up the phone and called one agency, which will remain nameless, and spoke to their development office. Please, I said. Take my sister’s name off your mailing list. Do you have any idea, I asked, what it’s like to get letters addressed to her saying, “Come back! We miss you!”? It’s just one more cruel twist on top of many others associated with an already tough situation. I did get an apology, a promise, and, of course, more mail. Sigh.
But after June 15th, I guess I won’t be getting her AARP magazine, or the pleas for donations in her name, or the upcoming theatre or performance schedules from local arts organizations. There was just something about seeing her name on those envelopes . . . I may miss that.
What I won’t miss are the nearly daily reminders in my mailbox that she’s gone, and has, finally, no forwarding address.