Would you pay your respects at a wake from a passenger’s seat or while shifting down to first?
A Los Angeles funeral parlor has instituted a novel, yet somewhat jarring new option for mourners. Instead of actually parking your car and saying a prayer or doing whatever it is atheists do casket-side, at the Robert L. Adams Mortuary in Compton, you can drive through a viewing lane and attend the visitation. Sound crass? Owner Peggy Scott Adams points to “convenience” as the main factor in offering the unusual mourning option:
“It’s a unique feature that sets us aside from other funeral parlors… You can come by after work, you don’t need to deal with parking, you can sign the book outside and the family knows that you paid your respects,” said Scott Adams. “It’s a convenience thing.”
Of course, convenience isn’t the only consideration when considering a drive-by grieving. Funerals are often a safety issue when gang or mafia deaths are involved:
In the 1980s, cemetery shootouts made gang members reluctant to gather for graveside services. The drive-thru’s glass partition is bulletproof, Scott Adams said, and so for a while the mortuary became a popular location for gang funerals.
Olivia Boudreaux, a mourner who attended a drive through viewing, says the detachment made the process simpler:
“I’m used to just going up and looking into the casket, and spending as much time as you need,” said Boudreaux. “But it’s good this way. Not quite as emotional.”
Would you pay respects in such a fashion, or does it come off as… well, disrespectful?