« Does ‘extreme couponing’ give savvy shoppers a bad name? | Main | Higher dollar? Canadians still paying more than Americans for the same goods »

April 18, 2021

Funeral home offers drive-thru casket viewings

The one thing you learn at a funeral or visitation: everyone grieves differently.

Istockphoto_9993632-drive-thru-this-way-fast-food-sign Indeed, while some sit in stoicism as others throw themselves on the casket, dealing with death is by no means a one-size-fits-all process.

But now one California funeral home is allowing what may be considered the most convenient method of grieving. Introducing the drive-thru body viewing …

According to the L.A. Times, Compton’s Robert L. Adams Mortuary is getting a lot of buzz for its new drive-thru display window, which showcases coffins for friends and family to see.

“It’s a unique feature that sets us aside from other funeral parlors,” Scott Adams, wife of the home’s founder, said of the 12-foot wide drive-thru lane off the side of the home. “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.

“It’s a convenience thing.”

Now, before we get to that last line, a little more on the drive-thru set-up. If families decide, they can opt to have their loved one displayed in front of a giant glass window to the side of the building, a separate viewing generally reserved for times when the real, in-person visitation isn’t happening. Costs of the viewings start at $1,295 and up, Adams told the L.A. Times.

And on the surface, beyond the apparent morbidity, the drive-thru theory seems to make sense. It allows the elderly and disabled to view fallen friends without having to leave their vehicles, and the idea caters to those who can’t bring themselves to enter a funeral home – a common fear of death that often leads to visitation/funeral no-shows.

But my … what about that apparent morbidity? If you watch the L.A. Times video report on the story, they show one of the bodies in the funeral home window. And it’s right out there. The viewing pane wraps right around the building toward the street, and the glass is floor-to-ceiling; drive-thru viewings, then, aren’t just for family and friends, they’re for the whole neighbourhood to see. Privacy need not apply here.

And what about convenience? If your goal is to get as many people to view your dead relative as possible, the drive-thru visitation might be for you. But I can imagine many Canadians wouldn’t want those scared off by petty nuisances like issues with parking at their mourning in the first place.

What do you think? Drive-thru viewings: good idea or bad idea?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...