When the Mail Is Yellow

Photo by Jixar

Admittedly, I don’t know all the details, but an 82-year-old woman’s death has prompted me to ask serious questions of myself.

Last month, officials responded to a call that an 82-year-old woman hadn’t been seen or heard from for quite some time. A neighbor reported that the older woman’s mail was yellowing, and cobwebs were collecting in her mailbox.

The neighbor correctly suspected that something was wrong.

Not only had the 82-year-old woman died in her home, it is believed that the woman died a year before. Her body was still in the house.

In addition to the obvious shock factor–that the body couldn’t be identified because of its condition–was the shock factor that no one noticed her absence. Where were the people who loved her? Where were the people that this woman loved? How could she have disappeared for a year?

And herein is the question I ask myself: Am I living a life–loving, serving, encouraging–that would cause someone to notice my absence if I disappeared for a year?

I don’t know all of the details, but I know this much: I don’t want to go quietly.


  1. amazing, and disturbing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very sad. Sometimes I wonder how long it would take for someone to miss me. I'm divorced with three adult sons who have their own lives. My life has been nothing but a struggle for the past 14 years financially, and it seems like when you're poor, it's harder to enlarge your social circle. So here I am, on websites like this becuz I can't seem to get my life together. I'm already seeing a counselor, taking anti-depressants, reading my bible, trying to hold on to my faith, but it's all getting pretty old by now. I feel sorry for that woman, but unfortunately the reality is that when we die, life goes on as usual. That's just the way it is. Someone said, "we come into this world alone, and we leave this world alone." That's reality.

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