Death in the digital age?

My great-aunt died over three months ago, yet a week hasn’t gone by yet where we haven’t gotten some piece of mail addressed to her. How does death work in the digital age, anyway? Are you not truly gone until you are expunged from that one last database, after that final robotically-processed letter has been sent out?

Death has become quite the lingering affair.

3 Responses to “Death in the digital age?”

  1. William (green) Says:

    But really, it’s always been like that. Imagine how it must have been, not so long ago, when a loved one would die and every so often, one of their dearest friends wouldn’t know and you‘d be the one to tell them the news. And you never know when something like that will happen.
    I guess that kind of thing still happens, probably, but I imagine it’s a lot less frequent. I was thinking way back when; in the 1800s when it might take weeks to discover even that one of your parents has died, as an example. Again, this could still happen, but… I don’t see it as being particularly likely.

  2. Cyde Weys Says:

    Names weren’t in databases back in the 1800s though. At some point, in ten years, my great-aunt’s name and address will be in a poorly validated database that is sold to some junk mailer, and more letters will start arriving. Things like this didn’t use to happen.

  3. drinian Says:

    Think that’s bad?

    The house that my parents and I have lived in since 1987 was previously owned by an elderly former nurse. That’s over twenty years ago, and I’m sure she sent change-of-address cards, etc. when she moved out.

    However, that doesn’t stop us from getting credit card offers from the American Federation of Nurses every few months for her. Even more bizarrely, I have recently started receiving junk mail advertising the publication “Nursing 2008” — with my name on it! I can only surmise that this nursing organization paid some company for the service of having their database “corrected,” and decided that the old lady’s name was actually mine.