Another meaning for “dead letter office”
While standing at the counter at my local post office earlier this evening, a couple of outgoing packages stacked behind the counter caught my attention. The boxes were not large, but they bore dark labels with bold white lettering reading “CREMATED REMAINS.”
It turns out you can actually mail the ashes of a family member or pet, but the United States Postal Service has some pretty specific guidelines regarding how to go about doing that. According to the USPS publication How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains, ashes must be packed inside a “siftproof” container that is placed within a strong outer box; in other words, officials don’t want Aunt Mildred to end up scattered around some postal facility.
In addition, the USPS requires cremated remains to be shipped via Priority Mail Express. That service is not cheap, but on the plus side, Grandpa shouldn’t be late for his own funeral.
I joke a little bit here, but seriously, it is pretty cool that folks who are dealing with the loss of a loved one have a way to literally send them on to their final resting place. It is also a service I’d just as soon never have to use, but it’s nice to know it’s available if I do.