Changing Return Address Labels

Aug 30, 2011 | 0 comments

Here’s a sort of funeral etiquette question about blacking out the name of the deceased on return address labels used by widows. This didn’t show up in the online Dear Abby column, but it ran in today’s Albuquerque Journal.


In years past, I have lost three friends. Because we lived far apart, I learned the sad news when their widows informed me by letter of their deaths.

In each case, the widow had blacked out the name of her spouse on the return address labels. My mother-in-law did the same thing when her husband died.

What prompts these women to eliminate evidence of their loved one so quickly?


DEAR GONE: Pragmatism.


Do you think it’s a good idea to black out the deceased’s name and keep using those existing mailing labels? If so, when’s the right time to start erasing the deceased’s name? There’s no evidence of the time frame in the above question. Wouldn’t it be life affirming to make up new labels with one’s own name?

A Good Goodbye