Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I Wish I Had Time for Sympathy, Friend


The newscast tonight shared some important developments in bereavement. Apparently, drive- through funerals are now a reality. 

What in the world? Everyone make the "what in the world" face with me - I need backup. 

This little bit o' news needed further investigation. Guess what? This isn't new news at all; it isn't the first funeral home to add the drive-through. Gatling's Chapel in Chicago has a drive through and it has push button viewing of the chapel where the body lies in state. Adams Funeral Home in Compton, California, has one, too. 

I have so many questions.

Does it cost the same as a regular funeral? Do you send flowers? Could you just send a postcard with a picture of fabulous flowers - and have them tack it to a cork coffin liner?  Do you have to line up in the drive-through in a certain order to view the dearly departed? Immediate family first? Or does the next of kin have to stand in the window and wave? Are there drive-through cremations? 

Paradise Funeral Chapel  in Saginaw commented on the need for their drive-through when they told the tale of an elderly woman who was unable to attend her husband's funeral:   "She would've a chance to see him if we had this, so I knew we had to move forward."

OH, GEE WHIZ, STOP IT!  That quote ended all serious investigation for me. This is where we turn the car around and head away from Crazytown. I'm jaded, I'll admit, but this sounds more and more like McFuneral's and less like a memorial for a loved one the more I think about it.  

My Two Cents:
Society has become adept at giving sympathetic sounding excuses for actions that lack common decency. If you're able to get an elderly woman in a car, and she'll have to get back out of the car later - why can't you help her get out of the car at the funeral home? I've seen quadriplegics at funerals. Sounds like a family issue...

It is her husband - I can't imagine that woman didn't want to attend the funeral, anymore than I can imagine a funeral home director, sympathetic to her plight, telling her, "We'll put a drive in window for you to take a peek in the coffin. Just for you."

If you don't want to attend a funeral, don't. Many people are uncomfortable at memorial services, for a variety of reasons. I get it. Send a nice card or flowers. Call the family and speak to them. It's the least you can do, if you have any relationship to the family. Give them a small amount of time

Most of us are only going to die once, agreed? I promise I won't burden you further. In fact, I've already planned mine and issued invitations - remember, there will be balloon animals and karaoke - check out the post My Funeral (This is Your Invitation).


If you're not a friend, who wants you at the funeral anyhow? Funerals are a very personal time for a family and friends to say their goodbyes. Why put on airs, as my grandma used to say. Somehow, committing (ahem) to driving by the deceased doesn't really earn you the big brownie points you'll need to get friend status, especially if I'm handing them out. 

Are you really so busy that you can't get out of the car at a funeral? Stay home.

22 comments:

  1. From one of my posts: When (& if) I die, I don’t want a conventional funeral, with everyone being sad. Instead, I want fireworks to celebrate my life! I told my husband & he said fireworks weren’t his thing. I said they were MY thing. He offered a compromise—he said he would stick a sparkler in my behind.

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  2. Drive-through funeral parlors ain't nuthin' new, dear Cherdo! My little town has one on practically every street corner. It's a quick and convenient way to pay your respects to the dearly departed and pick up a happy meal at the same time. I must admit, however, that it's a little tacky expressing your condolences by speaking into a clown's nose. A drive-through beverage store is also getting in on the action. The place is called Beers & Tears. Another place, Burgers & Bones or Fries & Cries (pick one) is currently running a special promotion for the bereaved: buy one funeral and get one free.

    I clicked back to your May post, dear friend, and it's a great one. It was published before I showed up on your doorstep wet, shivering and needing a friend. Thanks for taking me in. Look at how your blog has grown since then. You now have me and Janie and many other friends visiting regularly. Your writing/blogging talent deserves attention and is finally getting it.

    You've come a long way, baby!

    Happy Wednesday to you, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Beers and Tears...bwahahaha....my favorite.

      I believe I am hanging on your coattails, Shady; the running commentary just egged me on! See what I did there? Shared blame for my blog.

      Ironically, I did this instead of Baggin' and Taggin' today.

      Everyone have a great day - are you with me, dear Shady? Get out and do it! I'll expect a report, double spaced.

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  4. I think what we need more than ever is a drive through proctologist! Any suggestions on business names?

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    1. Business name: Up Yours!
      Doctor's name: I.C. Uranus
      Slogan: When folks neglect 'um, I check their rectum.
      Slogan: Fast butt thorough...
      and you never leave the comfort of your car!

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    2. Beautiful, Shady! You've a bright future (where the sun doth shine) as an (M)adman!

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    3. Oh, Shady. I don't know what to say, and you know that's a new feeling for me.

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    4. And I would have bent over backwards for him.... Er, no...nevermind.

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  5. Why go in the drive-through to view the body? Obviously, they have a Webcam in the parlor. Just put the whole thing online for anyone who wants to click and grieve. I drive past The Coffin Store all the time. I wish they'd hire me as a coffin model. I'd get dressed up and lie down in whatever model they're featuring that day. When people have questions, I can experience a sudden resurrection to tell them how comfy I am.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. I believe Janie has actually hit on a new occupation. She'd be just darling at it...I'm dying to see it.

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    2. I'm just glad my comment is still here.

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  6. See what happens when I spend the day away from the house? You kids...Shady in one corner...Gary in another...Janie in the third...

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    Replies
    1. I think you need to pour a bucket of ice water on each of us!

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    2. That is my next step...where is dat bucket?

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    3. I still think our conversation is funny.

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  7. Why didn't I know you had a blog until now???

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    1. Ha ha ha....I don't know, Linda! But thanks for stopping by the Flipside! That's funny.

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  8. funeral florist flowers have been the traditional way to express sympathy and ... for a reserved person might warrant an equally subdued floral arrangement.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo