Saturday, July 3, 2010


Here's one that you just don't see every day.
Being that it is the 3rd of July, there are carnivals and celebrations everywhere. As with most of the funeral homes that I work for, today's is located in the heart of a small town. Usually when I work here, we line up cars in the funeral home lot and anyone not wishing to be in the procession can park in the city lot right on the other side of the building. It's also the lot where boaters will park their trucks and boat trailers while they are out on the water since there is a boat launch right across the street. There is a large waterfront park where you can sit and watch the freighters go by.  When I pulled into town, I noticed all of the rented porta-johns lined up in the park like a bunch of green monsters. I knew then that it was going to be a good one. As I approached the funeral home, I noticed the carnival set up in the parking lot next to the funeral home. People were everywhere. The local lions club was shuttling people from a parking lot over at the high school because there simply was no place to park in town. The funeral home lot was barricaded so we at least had that. I really didn't want to send people on the carnival shuttle that weren't going to the cemetery. Fortunately, most everyone wanted to be in the procession because I really had no place to put them otherwise. The church on the other side of the street was having a rummage sale and the carnival kicked off at 10am. Which was exactly the time that the viewing started for the deceased.

So picture all the noise of a carnival with the rides and the games and the music and laughter on one side of the brick wall of the funeral home. And the quiet peace of a funeral on the other side of the wall. Yeah, not so quiet.
Then, when the service was over, we carried the casket out and placed the lady into the funeral coach. And we proceeded to parade down the street with 30 cars tailing behind in the middle of a carnival.
Upon our arrival at the cemetery (a safe distance away from the noise) we encountered a woman that was visiting her mother's grave. The narrow cemetery lanes caused us to block her in. The cemetery workers had warned her that we were coming and she ignored them. Then was upset that she had to be someplace and could not get out. She proceeded to slam her car door repeatedly during the graveside committal part of our service. As soon as it was over, she started yelling at people to move their cars. Of course she was parked facing the opposite direction as we were so even when a few of our cars did move she still couldn't go anywhere.
Eventually, everyone left to go to the luncheon and the woman was able to go. We lowered the casket, sealed the grave, wiped our brows in disbelief of this crazy day and went home to enjoy a beautiful summer day in a lakeside community.


Jabacue said...

Wow! What a scene that must have been....almost a script to a movie with a twist!
That's one for your book, Stew.

sophie said...

yow...this is not what I would want to deal with at all....customer service can be soo exhausting!