Do not stand at my grave and weep – I’ve emailed you. There is no escape.

A new messaging service from beyond the grave has been launched, allowing personal notes written prior to death to be sent to loved ones in the future.

The Last Messages Club offers busybodies and those who insist on having the last word – even when they’re dead – the opportunity to keep poking their noses into other people’s business for days, months and years after they’ve breathed their last.

For a small fee, members can write up to 100 emails that can be released once they have died at times of their choosing, such as when a loved one marries, has a child or needs prompting to put the bins out on a Thursday.

Simon Gilligan, 63, from Cambridgeshire, has signed up to the service and has written messages that will be sent to his wife, children and friends after his death.

“The messages are personal, but most of them are humorous,” he said.

“It also makes you think about smaller details, like making sure you remind someone to cancel your bus pass.”

In other words, the new service is like really low-level haunting.

Rather than all that pointless banging on the pipes at night, or moving objects or causing people to feel a chill down their spine, you can just email them and cut out the hassle-factor.

Thanks for the funeral, although I did think I might have warranted a slightly more expensive coffin. The fixed rate on the mortgage ends next month, make sure you shop around. Off to see Michael Jackson tonight - Elvis is the support act. Love, WIB

Thanks for the funeral, although I did think I might have warranted a slightly more expensive coffin. The fixed rate on the mortgage ends next month, make sure you shop around. Off to see Michael Jackson tonight - Elvis is the support act. Love, WIB

I only hope that the messages are sent under a comforting pseudonym, rather than the name of the deceased: I can see how it might be a bit disconcerting to see that the person you buried six months ago has clogged up your inbox with messages about shopping around for an insurance quote on the Mondeo or remembering to have the boiler serviced.

Otherwise, the messages might serve one purpose early – to reunite the loved one with the deceased by virtue of a catastrophic heart attack caused by sheer fright in front of the computer.

Personally, I’d find it incredibly frustrating to be limited to just 100 emails after the grave – I bang out that many in a day, and I’d hate to be constrained in the afterlife, especially as I’d have eternity to be frustrated about it.

No, if I’ve got the option, I’d like to send an email for every conceivable eventuality.

I sincerely think that my reassuring voice from beyond the grave would be a huge comfort to all, especially if it was regarding a matter of great importance, such as whether or not my daughter should get her belly button pierced (no) or if my son should be stopped from leaving the house if he insisted on gelling his fringe (yes).

And then there are other equally pressing issues I need to advise my children about.

They need to know that it’s socially unacceptable to call themselves ‘Dr’ on their chequebook and in non-academic situations after post-graduate studies UNLESS they become a proper doctor, in other words one that can write a prescription and remove in-growing toenails.

They must also be stopped from pronouncing ‘clique’ as ‘click’, dating men who wear patent shoes (or women who wear t-shirts with ‘Pornstar’ written across them or talk in ‘little girl’ voices to get their own way), thinking Peter Kay or Lee Evans are hilarious or wearing any form of yellow gold jewellery.

In fact, come to think of it, there are so many issues that I have an opinion on that I’m minded to dedicating the rest of my life to writing emails about them just in case I drop dead without any notice.

After I’ve dealt with the really important stuff – the patent shoes, the show-off ‘Dr’ titles and so forth – there are practical matters to contend with.

Who, other than me, for example, understands the complexities of the family tumble drier and realises that if you run the tap in the kitchen during the final spin it will render the entire drying process pointless?

Explaining the tumble drier alone would take 100 emails. And that’s before I’ve even started on how you make back right-hand oven ring work by twiddling a knob in several directions while giving the whole apparatus a sharp shove.

And finally, I don’t think I’d be able to pass up the opportunity to send a few unsettling emails to people who have wronged me and who deserve a damn good haunting.

You know, a few titbits about the afterlife to give them food for thought: eternal burning lakes of fire, demonic servitors of Belial, hell’s uncanny resemblance to an Ikea warehouse on a Bank Holiday Monday, that kind of thing.

It’s important to me to know I won’t be forgotten when I’m gone. My only fear is that the WiFi connection in the afterlife will be as ropey as the one I have in the land of the living.

PS I promise not to send ‘hilarious’ jokes titled ‘ You HAVE to see this!’ or links to YouTube clips or terrifying, but false, pieces of ‘health information’ that suggest wearing a bra gives you a brain tumour. Unless you’ve really pissed me off. In which case, that inbox of yours is going to need some extra memory.


37 Responses to “Do not stand at my grave and weep – I’ve emailed you. There is no escape.”

  1. August 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    “gelling his fringe” – I hope we are talking about hair
    “They must also be stopped from pronouncing ‘clique’ as ‘click’ How do you pronounce it?

    I would love to take a picture of someone on the computer from behind and then send them an email after I am gone that just says “I am watching you!!!”

    • August 21, 2009 at 9:08 am

      Good lord, I hope we are talking about his hair too. Otherwise that’s a whole different set of emails I’ve got to back up for beyond the grave.

      Like the idea about the head. May start working on this – possibly with some device that sets off a web cam that I’ve hidden in the ceiling.

  2. August 20, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    It’s pronounced CLEEK.

    You could acheive the same effect with some envelopes with conditions marked on the front like “If you get married”, “If you catch VD” or “If you have a mid life crisis”

    • August 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

      But where would I store them all?
      Emails are more environmentally friendly – and not as simple to simply throw in the bin, like credit card bills.

      And yes. Cleek, cleek, cleek, cleek. Listen up people.

  3. 5 brucehood
    August 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Funny, when I get all these email comments from people I assume are brain-dead well maybe it’s just that. How uncharitable of me not to consider their underlying condition.

    • August 21, 2009 at 9:11 am

      I assume you’re not talking about my comments on your blog?! Although I am always the token thickie in a sea of scholars.
      I like to think of my role as an enabler – enabling people to thank all that is holy they’re not as dim as I am.

  4. August 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I think this is a great idea. All posts would have “DO NOT REPLY” in the header since, obviously, there is no one to reply to.

    And since there is a no way to reply, it would be a good way to clear up old misunderstandings. Like an e-mail saying, “Remember how I said the cat got lost? Well, it was actually more like a medical experiment gone wrong.”

    Or, “Remember how you asked me if you looked fat in those tight jeans and I said no? Well, I was lying. Not a little white lie but a massive whopper of a lie. My God, I can’t believe you fell for it. You were enormous.”

    Yes, I am really going to enjoy this dead man e-mail thing.

    • August 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

      Oh TL, I knew that you’d appreciate the whole ‘and no returns’ thing.

      This is, indeed, the chance we’ve all been waiting for to have the last say.

      You should see the one I’ve written you…

  5. August 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    OMG! It’s just occured to me that you could sell your post-mortem email capability to spammers for a tidy profit now. Or have an email donor card – “In the event of my death I want someone else to be able to text/email/IM/Twitter using my account”

  6. August 21, 2009 at 12:09 am

    What a scary and wonderful idea. I could nag my poor daughter after I was gone, forcing her to be happy I passed.

  7. August 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    You have just given me something to obssess over for the rest of my work-day.

    Instead of emails they should have beyond the grave e-cards, with greetings like;

    “Wish you were here…but from what I was told you’re headed in the opposite direction”


    “Happy Birthday! You’d better enjoy it, because a “little diety” told me it’s the last one you’ll ever have…”

    I mean the possibilities are endless.

    • August 26, 2009 at 7:00 am

      Literally endless. Infinite.
      It’s just a case of whether or not I’ve got time to get them all written while I’m still alive.
      I have a lot to say. And it’s easier to email once I’m dead, because then I don’t have to deal with the come-back.

  8. 15 MM
    August 22, 2009 at 12:32 am

    “I’m Yul Brynner and I’m dead now….”

    Things to do in Cyberspace when you’re dead.

  9. August 22, 2009 at 10:12 am

    100 emails are definitely not enough. I so want to be the recipient of several of yours

  10. August 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Elvis is opening for Michael Jackson? I don’t THINK so! 🙂

    How about, “I had them bury me face down so that when you come to visit my grave you can kiss my arse.”

  11. August 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    How would you fancy being a ghost, WIB? Do you remember Randall and Hopkirk? The one who was a ghost seemed to have a lot of fun.

  12. August 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    “Now that you’ve all had a couple of days to sober up, I’d like to make a few comments.

    1. When I said that I “wanted everyone to celebrate my life” at my wake, it was to be taken in the same way that it should be taken when you ask your mom what she wants for her birthday and she says, “Nothing.” We are lying. This is just our way of not looking emotionally or materially needy.

    The correct answer is not “Cool. Happy birthday.” Or in my case, an excuse to turn the funeral home into a black-clad Mardi Gras. Seriously, who brings beads to a wake? (Normally this would be rhetorical, but I think we all know the answer now.)

    2. When I said I “don’t care what happens to my ashes,” I did not mean “drunkenly spill them into the corner pocket of the billiards table.” Why in hell does a funeral parlor have a pool table? (This should be rhetorical as well, but your cousin and your sister’s best friend seem to feel it’s for ‘ash disposal’ and ‘very public lovemaking.’)

    3. I would like a few of you to reconvene and hold a proper wake, with at least some small emotional display. Even if it’s nothing more than you saying, “I miss CLT. It seems like only late last week we were accidentally and repeatedly kicking out his oxygen line in the ICU.”

    The only tears I saw at the wake were the funeral home director’s, who must have just been informed that my check had bounced.

    4. A copy of this tape has also been sent to my lawyer. He has received instructions to rewrite my will, leaving all my worldly goods to the winner of the World’s Strongest Man Competition (check espn2) with the stipulation that he immediately head to my former house and kick the everliving shit out of any family members still in it.

    This includes the collections department of the Holgenberg Funeral Home.”

    • August 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm

      You’ve got into the swing of it now, haven’t you CLT?

      Although if your emails are this good after the grave, I think I may die through trying to compete to better them. Die again. Because I can.

  13. August 24, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    I’m glad you told me about this, because if I got an email from a deceased relative, it would scare the beejezes outta me.

    Especially if it said “Wishing you were here!”

  14. August 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    That is so cool if a bit frightening.
    Suppose we always had the option to leave last messages in a variety of formats.

  15. August 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Very spooky to find this post… I’ve just blogged about the possibility of setting my blog on some sort of after death auto-pilot when the inevitable happens!!!

  16. August 27, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Heh, I’d just send out lots of random ‘BOO(s)!’

  17. August 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Gosh, the ideas are endless. Like, remember your Aunt Lily, well she still thinks your nuts. OR I had a long conversation with Maureen, that old girlfriend of yours who died a few years back, well apparently she wasn’t as faithful as you thought.

  18. September 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Well, I’ve learned something here. I shall immediately contact my bank and get them to remove the ‘Dr.’ from before my name on my chequebook. But am I still allowed to use it when cold-callers ring up and ask for Mrs Hawthorn? (My response: “Mrs H doesn’t exist, but I’m Dr. H. Can I help you?”)

  19. September 2, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Just ran across your post. This is fantastic (evil grin) I always wanted payback without repercussion and what better way than from the grave. (hee!hee!):)

  20. September 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    But how do they keep track of events?

  21. September 18, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read.. 🙂


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