Mail from Beyond *
by T.L. Hansen, published in Jyllands-Posten on Sunday July 23, 2006
According to the author, the newspaper is the most read in Denmark. On
Sundays there're about 600,000 readers, and 230,000 copies sold (the
population of Denmark is about 5 million).
Normally there would be nothing strange about receiving e-mail from your
father. But what if he'd been dead for a year? And the e-mail said that he
knew that by now he would be dead, but that the e-mail was written before his
day of departure and sent from an internet company that, in the future, would
send encouragements to you, written by him, on special occasions like holidays
and birthdays? It seems that more than one company on the Internet is now
providing this sort of service. One of them provides "Heavens Mail", and is
situated in Switzerland and an American co-founder named John Moetteli. "I
got the idea when I worked in a software company where the employees could
send e-mails in the future. One day I received a mail from a employee that
wasn't with the company any more, and I thought that I could use that to do
something" says John Moetteli.
A simple idea came to mind. A client who is expected to die writes an instruction,
entering the recipient e mail adresse and a date ( or season of the year), when the
email will be sent, and so, in principle, after these messages are written, all
that is needed is to wait-all is taken care of automatically. John Moetteli said
that most think the idea is a very good one, but a small portion of those polled
consider it a bit macabre, providing a way for a dead person to control the living.
Otherwise, most concede that receiving these emails can offer comfort to those who
are left behind.
"We execute the heaven's mail service order only after we can be reasonably assured
that the client is dead, and so we send reminders seeking confirmation of this fact.
We only begin when we know that the client has passed. We wish that the service be
executed flawlessly, so we never execute the service order earlier than 6 months
after we can be reasonably sure that the client has died" Moetteli said. "We only
allow clients who are at least 50 years old or who are terminally ill to use our
Heaven's Mail service. We also reserve this service to those who are old enough
to know how to use it properly. Those who do not qualify will have their accounts deleted."
A danish pastor, Ebsen Anderson commented "the thought behind this system may
be a good one, but we must not be lulled into thinking that these such emails
can be a substitute for expressing one's love during one's own lifetime-expressing
ourselves spontaneously is very important".
For more information, visit www.heavensmail.com, where the cost of the
service is about $250....
*Note: the above was roughly translated from the original - see the original
Danish language article for original content.