Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is There a Statute of Limitations ....

                                                                picture from here

.... on now long Jim will remain on so many mailing lists?

Because .... really?!  It's been 4 years.  Well, Three years and 11 months, but who's counting?  Besides me?

I don't think there's a day that goes by without getting something in the mail that's addressed to him.  And mostly, it's just junk mail.
And I get that.
I really do.
Because junk mail is just stupid, in and of itself.
So I don't expect anything different from that crap.

But this year .... just a couple of weeks ago .... I received something in the mail that shocked me.  Really.
It took my breath away.

It was from Jim's attorney's office.  Not our personal attorney, but from a rather large firm in Houston which handled a case for him .... for us (after a horrific accident in 2001 when a gun blew up in his face while he was target shooting).  They worked with Jim, with us, for quite a few years before we settled the case ... not too long before he died, ironically.
A large, well-known firm.  A firm that's done a lot of work for other partners in Jim's firm.  A law firm that does a lot of "big" work.  A law firm that should know better.
A law firm that knows he's dead.
And has known that he's been dead for almost 4 years.

And yet .... they sent him an invitation to their annual Christmas/Holiday party.

Not a small get-together.
But a large, well-known annual affair.
Yep.  Really.

I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.
I wanted to march into the house, pick up the phone, dial their number and ask the first person who answered, "Are you freakin' kidding me??!!"
Four years.
Plenty of time to take the man's name off of the mailing list, don't you think?
Four years.
Do they think he's going to become more alive as each year passes?
Is there something they know that I don't?
Is he hanging out with Elvis somewhere, eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches?
Somehow, I don't think so.

Funny.  I still have the jury summons that he received 2 years after he died.
I was hoping they'd put out a warrant for his arrest after he failed to show for that.
Alas, they did not.

The failure of the government to keep up with the status of its citizens .... alive and/or dead?
I get that.
It happens.
We all know the government and what it's capable .... and incapable .... of doing.

But actual men and women whom I've met?  With whom I've spent hours working?  Not to mention the days upon days that Jim worked with them.
People who have real faces and real names .... which I know?

It's funny .... just when I think I've got this "widow thing" down .... when I think I've seen it all and there's no more to be seen ..... there suddenly is.
There should be a statute of limitations.
On how long dead people can receive mail.
And on how long some people can be stupid.


  1. I know. The best one was the letter Geoff got 2 years after he died asking why he had stopped his monthly donation to the Air Ambulance. The same Air Ambulance Charity which was the recipient of all the donations at his funeral. It takes my breath away at times. The sheer idiocy of some people.

  2. I used to be one of the minimum wage minions doing mass mailings so I know that sometimes the mailing lists weren't updated by anyone who spent the time to sort thru and check the names. Now I am the one getting these same things and can't help being upset that no one cared enough to double check!

  3. Get used to it, I still get mail for my mother in law after 11 years! Go figure.

    You'd think after almost 2 years WE would not get an invite addressed to both of us from our local Hospice group... of all people to invite both of us to a candle ceremony. Didn't they come to our house for weeks before he died? In this day and age can't someone update the data base of names?
    I do not get it either. If they knew how it tugs at your heart and throws you down again, maybe they would wake up and get it right. But I doubt it.

  4. We get mail for my Aunt. She died in 2006. We have since moved across the country. She never lived with us, in either location.

    My dad died in 1981. My mom got a jury summons for him in 1983. She called. She sent letters. She sent copies of the death certificate. She finally sent a change of address form -- listing the cemetary (down to the plot number) as his new address. It's in a different county. I like to imagine the jury notices piling up on the headstone...

    It's such a weird/invasive reminder, and yes, people should totally get their acts together, especially in this day and age when all this information is on computers.

  5. Thank you.
    "A kick in the gut"
    Well said.

    No matter the source, just continuing to receive such mail is frustrating. Maybe contact with the Post Office would help?

    I now send mail back with the name crossed out and the word "Deceased" and make certain a first class stamp is on it.

    So did you eventually give the senders your input?

  6. I had a similiar experience with my daughter's school. I was so mad I did email her counselor and complained about how insenitive it was. I do not get it either,

  7. Perhaps it would be some small comfort to know that the problem is there is no one person in any of these cases who a) is responsible for the list AND b) personally knows (or knows the status of) your loved one. Databases don't update themselves. A printed postcard that says the person is deceased that you can easily address and mail back should help to eliminate some of the causes of your undeserved pain.

  8. Page 3 on this document is what I used to nottify all 3 credit agencies so that the junk mail would stop and it did after about month six. Here is the website I used...
    But my most unbeliveable mailing is a request from the doc who treated him to come in to get checked. Really? He was the person who SIGNED his death certificate. I am just too stunned to do anything yet. I just got two letter recently so it just was a perfect post for me today. Hugs for all of you. I hate mail....I might change my screen name toI HATE mail.

  9. I know, there is always something that really gets to you. My husband has been dead 2 years and 10 months and just the other day, I got a voice message from his dentist saying he was overdue for a cleaning. Really? and then they sent a postcard. I just don't know how long some people can be stupid.

  10. Wow .... the Air Ambulance, the Hospice center, the dentist (!) ..... and the dr. who signed his DEATH CERTIFICATE??? There.Are.No.Words.
    I realize that this happens to everyone, and that it's a "database" problem, but it doesn't have to be. If people would take the moment or two (not long at all) to be thoughtful enough to let someone in their company know that a client has died ... a lot of pain could be avoided. We tend to think that "someone else" will take care of it. Funny how often that "someone else" doesn't do a damn thing. Thankfully, at this point in my life it rarely causes pain .... sometimes it's laughter. Most times it's just plain annoying.
    One person .... one moment.
    That's all.

  11. I got a notice that my deceased husband's life insurance premium would be increasing this year. He died two years ago. This happened the same week that our younger child exclaimed, "It's not fair! Even Dad gets more mail than I do and he's dead!" ~J

  12. My "best" one was a recent postcard: Christmas is coming...what are you getting Robert this year?

    Ouch. Thanks for everyone's stories - it is, in fact, better to laugh than to cry in this instance.

  13. Just learned my husband had two speeding tickets in Cleveland, OH, that I knew nothing about and now they want me to pay almost $300 or they will add on an additional $100 in fines. He died almost four years ago and one of the tickets is over 4 1/2 yrs old. But this is the first I have heard of them. How much do you want to bet that after an annoyingly long phone call with too many transfers to people who know nothing, that their solution of "just mail us a copy of the death certificate and we'll remove it from our files" will NOT fix it and I will have to make another useless but time consuming phone call?!?!

  14. I like it when I get mail for matt. He was here. He lived. I'm not making it up. I get his annual discount card for a local bookstore on his birthday, and I think about the times we looked at those bookshelves together. I get a reminder that his frequent guest card at a certain hotel hasn't been used in awhile, and I remember the times we have stood in that lobby together. I get a ridiculous letter from a very stern collection agency, telling him his credit rating is going to be impacted if he doesn't take action immediately, and I laugh to myself that he never cared about his credit rating all that much before, and he cares significantly less now. He disappeared so suddenly, I like the reminders that he lived.