As I’ve written many times before, I have an e-mail address that I don’t use that was supplied to me by my ISP. I wasn’t the first person to have the e-mail address as evidenced by the large amount of e-mails addressed to people that aren’t me. I get mail from people who think I’m both a woman and a man (obviously different intended recipients). Usually the e-mails are fluff consisting of forwarded jokes, announcements of a home sold, or a movie night out. I just let those go by. Last week though, I got a very different type of mail.

A man had sent a very short but concise message to my account. Apparently, a woman back east had gotten into a very serious car accident and unfortunately, her injuries were grave and she passed away. The message went onto say her husband and her children were not in the car at the time. That was pretty much the whole message. The next message from this man simply contained a link. The link went to the web site for a funeral home. It was the obituary for the woman who had passed away. It contained more detail about this woman, including a picture, her age, the names of her husband and her two sons, and her surviving family members. It was really quite sad and I didn’t even know this woman. She was barely forty years of age and she was the mother of two sons.

I wasn’t really sure what to do with these messages. I clearly wasn’t the intended recipient. I didn’t know where to forward these messages on. I thought of responding to them and telling the sender they had the wrong address but I haven’t so far. I felt like I had stepped into some very personal details about a tragic circumstance and I didn’t want to them to know I had intruded into their lives (willingly or not). I know I should probably let them know they have the wrong address but it feels really awkward at this point. Doing the right thing isn’t easy all the time.

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