NOT A day goes by that Mount Morgan’s Lorraine Bunton doesn’t think of the love of her life, John.

John and Lorraine were married for almost four decades before he died more than three years ago.

But late last month Lorraine got a “shocking” reminder of her loss when she picked up a letter from her mailbox addressed to John.

It was from Reader’s Digest, an organisation neither Lorraine nor John had ever subscribed too.

“I wasn’t having a good day already and to walk out to the mailbox and see his name on a letter was quite shocking.

“It takes you back to the death process and you’re reliving the whole lot again.”

While she has had John’s named removed from the mailing list, Lorraine said the error should never have happened in the first place.

Finding out how it did has proven a challenge.

Stop the mail

The Australian Bereavement Register relieves the distress of receiving mail for loved ones who have passed away. You can register for the free service at


Lorraine said she was told by Reader’s Digest they rented names and mailing addresses from a third party called Greater Data and assumed the information provided was accurate.

Lorraine said Greater Data told her John’s name would be removed from their records, but had been unwilling to discuss how it obtained the information.
“They don’t want to tell you what procedures they go through to make sure the data is accurate,” she said.

Lorraine said it shouldn’t be the bereaved person’s responsibility to make sure a loved one’s name was taken off a list they had never subscribed too.

“They don’t take any responsibility for the psychological impact it has.”

* This article first appeared in The Morning Bulletin, 7th March 2014