A funeral home in Michigan is providing a new service for mourners that is leaving some shaking their heads. The service will make funeral viewings more convenient for those attending, but is it going to far?
Paradise Funeral Home in Saginaw has built a special drive-thru window display so the deceased loved one can be viewed by mourners from the comfort of their car. That is correct — the funeral viewing is being offered in traditional format or the family can opt for a drive-thru viewing.
Though at first this service may seem impersonal, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the president of Paradise Funeral Home, Ivan E. Phillips, was inspired to create the drive-thru service after he witnessed an elderly widow who was not well enough to make it inside the funeral home but could have utilized a drive-thru service to say goodbye to her husband. The funeral home is hoping that family members who cannot make it into the funeral home or are on a limited time schedule will be able to utilize the service
“You may find people who are afraid of funeral homes, now they can view their loved ones from the convenience of their car.”
This is not the first nontraditional service that Phillips has offered to his customers. In fact, Phillips notes that he has already been offering web-based funeral services to families. If a family member was disabled or unable to make it to the funeral, Phillips would setup a video camera and allow the individual to watch the funeral service online or have a brief visitation online. Phillips doesn’t see the services as disrespectful, but rather he is making it more convenient for people to be involved in the viewings.
“The funeral industry is changing rapidly. So my intent was to bring something here that was accessible to the community.”
Sharise Phillips is the manager of the funeral home and notes that the whole experience has been positive.
“We wanted to provide convenience and accessibility for our customers for the times and days they don’t want to get out of their vehicle.”
The funeral home staff realizes why some people may look at the service and find it disrespectful. However, they are hoping people are willing to give it a chance to see that the viewing can be just as meaning from the comfort of a person’s car. The Phillips have gone to great lengths to ensure the viewing is done both conveniently, but with respect to the deceased individual and their family.
What do you think of the new drive-thru funeral service? Is it a great idea or not personal enough for a funeral viewing?