Items going missing after being sent through the mail are not unheard of. Some packages, however, are more than just another consignment. In this case, the cremated remains of a loved one. Never trust mailing services with important packages such as cremated remains is the tough lesson that a mourning family learned when Mary Colby sent her husband Mark Colby's ashes through the US postal service after he died of cancer on August 31st this year.
The cremated remains were sent as three separate shipments were sent from Australia through the mail. One to her soon who resides in Georgia, another to Mark's sister in Florida, and a third to a long time friend in New York. After spending AUD 70 for next-day service, Colby hoped that the remains would arrive by midday the following day. However, the package went missing without a trace and only arrived four days later.
Colby attempted to contact USPS regarding the delay. However, she received no explanation as the postal service themselves were clueless about the whereabouts of the parcel. "It's not just a package," Colby told CBS2 Chicago. "There's a reason it's supposed to have special handling," she said.
Lack Of Sympathy
Colby also noted that the staff had a poor attitude towards her. She remembers watching a video from the USPS claiming that there was no other option but to "trust" while shipping cremated remains. The staff only complicated the situation further with their seemingly "brusque and abrupt" attitude when she tried asceratin what was going on. "The woman at the post office was flat-out rude," Colby recalls. "It wasn't an envelope or a box with toys. It was my husband's remains," she added expressing her anguish.
Not The First
This incident, however, is far from the first such occurrence. Earlier this month, it was reported by Fox 9 (Milwaukee) that a resident of Minnesota, Dan Sepulvado, had warned others to be wary of sending cremated remains through the USPS after his father's ashes were lost in Texas. With regard to the case in a written response to Fox 9, a USPS spokeswoman replied that they were conducting an 'extensive search' of their Texas facilities to locate the package.
However, Sepulvado still wanted other families to know the risk of losing a loved one's remains. "For me, if it ends up being that my family - all of other siblings kind of have to split our remains into and additional urn for my brother - I will probably end up flying, driving them down personally. I don't see how I can trust the USPS to get those remains somewhere at a specific time, by a specific date without going through this hassle again," he told Fox 9.