The Eternal Drive-Through

Drive-through mortuary viewings premiered in Florida more than 30 years ago, but have more recently become a growing trend. I googled “drive through funeral homes” and found 14 million listings. Nearly every U.S. state has them now. One of the oldest, in a gang-infested area of Los Angeles, features bullet-proof glass. Well, yeah.

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I haven’t been to one, but I’m picturing something like… 

  • “Hi, and welcome to McDeath. We put the fun in funerals!
  • “Right, uh, I’d like to see my cousin Ernie.”
  • “He was cremated. Would you like to see the ashes?”
  • “Uh…sure.”
  • “Would you like fries with that?”

It seems to me there’s something a smidge perverse about making death convenient. We shouldn’t fear death, exactly (that’s missing the point). But neither should we trivialize it.

More Thoughts on Death

“It kills me sometimes, how people die.” ~Markus Zusak

     “Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”    ~Benjamin Franklin

“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” ~Anonymous

“Don’t think of it as dying,” said Death. “Just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush.” ~Terry Pratchett

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” ~Victor Hugo

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.” ~Shannon Alder

“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” ~J.K. Rowling

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” ~J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

“Live like you were dying.” ~Tim Nichols (lyricist/songwriter)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to The Eternal Drive-Through

  1. Drive thru mortuary viewings – not words I ever thought I’d see in the same sentence!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think J. K Rowling was the first to say that …. (I Corinthians 15:26)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben Franklin was right!

    Have an excellent week, Mitch.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heidi Viars says:

    Nice try. But death has never been really convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bruce says:

    Hi Mitch, you have a misquote there: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” ~J.K. Rowling. ….. actually that’s 1st Corinthians 15:26 , I think Paul beat J.K. Rowling …. oh, I just noticed that Anne @ seekingdivineperspective beat me to it! Good for you Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. laronda65 says:

    I like the last one – because you are (dying). Thr older I get, the more I grow anxious. At 54 with my younger daughter graduating high school, aging tells me I’m running out of time to change so many things.
    I personally don’t want people looking at my dead body, but I told my daughters they can do what they want since I won’t be able to stop them anyway. But, I’m going to pay for the cremation and they can pay for anything they want that costs more. It’ll be just like when we went shopping! If I do have a viewing, I’ve told them I want a motion-activated recording so when someone walks up to my casket, they’ll hear things like, “Hey! Don’t you owe me money?”, “OK. Move along. You’re holding up the line.” or “Should I save a seat for you?” I hate seeing people be sad, and this would be the only chance I have to be incredibly inappropriate at a funeral. I don’t want my friends and family to ever cry because of me.
    And I know that my girls will never be able to go out to eat without remembering how I managed to make them laugh embarrassingly hard. And they know what they need to do if they want to see me again. ; )

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Love this. I worked for a pediatrician who said parents wanted drive through Dr visits. He would just reach out his hand, touch the child, and say HEAL.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. TheSamMcLeod says:

    Just wow, can’t believe these are a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. revruss1220 says:

    I love it! Especially the Shannon Alder quote. Thanks for another entertaining and enlightened perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mystic Dee says:

    Drive thru funerals, WTF!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. DigiThanks says:

    All quotes are beautiful! Especially Shannon Alder. Thanks for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mark Brady says:

    My 90+ great aunt said about death, “My bags are packed, I’m just not ready to leave yet!”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. nancyehead says:

    This form of viewing seems to miss the point of being there to comfort the family and reminisce about the now missing loved one. Great post. Love the quotes at the end! God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I really want a loud & rambunctious funeral. One that’s more like a party than a parting.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lulu: “I think I would rather go to the drive-thru with the Magic Cheeseburger Window I always hear the other dogs talking about …”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    That was to die for. Always a great reminder that death is the door to real life. Like Jesus said the seed that dies and becomes something different an life-giving. It’s funny that they credit that Biblical quote with JK Rowling.

    Pray for me and the direction I should go with my sci-fi book.

    Have a great week, brother.

    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      The J.K. Rowling quote came up above, too, Gary. Not sure, but I suspect she was purposely paraphrasing the Bible when she wrote that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gpavants says:

        I had heard that she was trying to add a Christian message in Harry Potter. I think that is the challenge as believers to get a story that meets needs, reaches the right audience, and can share the Lord right where people are. The nerd and geek fandom is my field and it’s a tough place to get the Gospel intox

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Love the humor and the distinction between not fearing and trivializing. Great quotes too.

    Maybe the richly deserved ridicule of drive-thru viewings will jolt a few people into rethinking the established convention that gawking at a corpse should compete with consolation and remembrance during calling hours.

    At the calling hours for my late wife, the only visuals were a few prints of photos she had taken in happier times and the beautiful urn that held her ashes and would have appealed to her as a vase for a bouquet of her beloved daffodils.

    Liked by 1 person

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