The Emails Of Dead People

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I have never been able to delete the name of anyone who has died from my email list. I just can’t do it. If I delete a person’s name, I feel like I’m erasing the fact that he or she ever existed. I need the name listed so I can be connected forever.

It all started in 2006, when a business associate, suddenly died during a meeting in the conference room of a big name advertising agency. She keeled over after suffering an aneurysm. Bernice Kanner was 57.

Bernice was well known in the advertising business. She wrote a marketing column for New York magazine for over 10 years plus she was the author of scores of business books.
She also did some free lance work for HWH PR, my agency, so we were pretty close.

The first time I saw her name on my email list after her death, I stared at it for a long time. It was like having my own personal memorial service. It’s been that way ever since. I like to stop to stare at her name when I’m scrolling my list because it reminds me to be grateful and thankful for whatever I have.

I have hundreds of names on my email list and still keep at least 10 people who died over the years. I only keep those that I was personally friendly with. I sometimes even keep an email message that I got from the deceased. I can never get rid of the one from Karen Fisher. She wrote several beautiful emails to me after my dog, Coco, died. They were so comforting at the time and still are today.

My big regret is that the Internet didn’t exist before some of my other very close family and friends left this world. I would have liked to have seen their names on my email list as a reminder how fortunate I was to have had them in my life.

I’m not at all interested in adding others to my email memorial list. In fact, I’m truly grateful for each day that goes by without hearing any bad news. I thank my higher power.

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