Ashes in the Mail — Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One has Changed in the COVID Era
Jason Oszczakiewicz, a Pennsylvania funeral home director known as “Oz,” has become accustomed to delivering the ashes of recently deceased persons as it has begun to occur about 9 or 10 times a month.
Oz stated, “I seem to be mailing a lot to Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, New York.”
The pandemic has not only changed how things are done during life, but also in death.
Memorial services have been postponed, eulogies delivered over zoom, and many people are moving towards cremation in order to skip the process of burying bodies. Since out-of-state relatives have been unable to travel and pick up remains, the U.S. Postal Service has become the middle man in delivering ashes to doorsteps.
In order to safeguard the remains, you must send them Priority Express Mail, and they require a signature.
This process has become so popular that the USPS is having a hard time keeping up with their bright orange sticker that reads “CREMATED REMAINS.”
The USPS is struggling to keep up with the demand for its Label 139, a bright orange sticker it requires on these packages that reads “CREMATED REMAINS.” The Postal Service also offers a kit for human ashes that comes with a sealable plastic bag, bubble wrap and cardboard box. The USPS website warns of delays “due to high order volume.”
See Mary Jordan, Ashes in the mail: Dealing with the loss of a loved one has changed in the covid era,
The Washington Post, March 3, 2021.
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