The email you never want to send or receive

Yesterday afternoon I’d gone to visit my mum for a cuppa and while I was there I received an email that I wasn’t expecting and it left me very shocked. I’ve taken out some information and changed the name/locations as I didn’t want to discuss the detail, more the principle:

I apologise if you already have this information or whether it is relevant to you. As I have no idea who you are in relation to Joe, I am just sending this to all of his e-mail contacts.

Joe Bloggs passed away suddenly on the 9th April .

Being overseas we have had a lot of things to sort out and I have only just got around to sorting his e-mails.

We will be taking Joe home to Essex next Monday and we will be saying farewell to him on Thursday 28th April  at 1pm, at the Colchester crematorium. Any one wishing to attend will be welcome.

Any one needing further details can contact me [his mum] on XXX

The person I’ve called Joe Bloggs was more of an acquaintance than a friend, the former partner of a work colleague. We’d enjoyed a couple of parties, drinks and one or two nights out together. I didn’t know him particularly well and hadn’t been in touch in about a year. I’ve dropped his mum an email to share my condolences but don’t expect to have any further contact.

That said, I found this email quite shocking to receive and haven’t stopped thinking about Joe ever since. I’m not sure what exactly it was that surprised me so much, other than the obvious fact that he was young and wouldn’t have been someone I’d expect to die, but I think in addition it was the fact that his mum had sent it. As someone who doesn’t use email contacts I’m always impressed with anyone who does, super-organised. In addition I was blown away by his mum’s fortitude and pro-activity.

I guess as I sat there with my mum I couldn’t imagine her sending that email, or imagine what Joe’s mum must be going through. On a boringly practical note it might inspire me to sort out my email contacts and maybe even leave a note on my computer – just in case. Who knows, maybe that is a step too far but it’s not something I’d want my mum agonising over. What to do. Anyone else considered this? What do you reckon?

Photo by crows_wood
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