Apparently the idea of a drive-thru funeral visitation isn’t new, but it’s no surprise that the trend fell out of favor. Now a funeral home in Michigan is trying it again. All righty, then.
“You may find people who are afraid of funeral homes, now they can view their loved ones from the convenience of their car,” Ivan Phillips, owner of Paradise Funeral Chapel, told WNEM. And so the story of a funeral home in Michigan begins, as it details how once a car approaches the drive-thru window, it triggers a sensor, and the curtains draw back. You have paid your respects to your fallen family member or friend without needing to get out of your car — or get dressed, for that matter.
I admit up front that I am no fan of visitations, funerals or memorial services. I doubt many people are. I always feel extremely anxious when I go, and it’s hard for me to cry in public, because my face turns bright red and I look amazingly awful. Before the date approaches, I have to really talk myself into going, and I desperately wish I didn’t have to. It’s hard for me to face the truth, and it’s hard for me to visit with those who are also deeply affected by the death.
But I do. I go every time. And I cry, and I look terrible, and I give my respects to the departed and their family.
So you might think that a drive-thru visitation would appeal to me. Nobody would even have to see me! I can pop through, sign the guest book, share a quiet moment with my loved one and be off on my way. I wouldn’t have to interact with anyone, and I definitely would not have to cry in front of everyone. I wouldn’t have to worry about wearing the proper attire either. It’s a win-win solution, for sure.
But no. Not really. I think that installing a drive-thru window at a funeral home, while it sounds forward-thinking and possibly even modern, just isn’t my cup of tea. I’m not a huge traditionalist either — I don’t get bent out of shape when someone dons an unusual wedding gown, gets married at a football game, has a baby shower for her fourth baby or names her kid Apple. This, though… the death of a person deserves more respect than can be shown via a drive-thru window.
Photo credit: WNEM
Phillips says the whole setup cost more than $300,000 and is unsurprisingly getting mixed reviews from the community. He begs everyone to give it a chance, but I think this was not the best use of their funds. If his intent was to enable more visitors, then he should have made the chapel more comfortable or more accessible to those with a disability.
Photo credit: Facebook
Nice try, but no dice.