Introducing the ‘drive-thru’ funeral home

We’ve all been there: it’s Monday morning, you’re tired, the kids need to get to school, and you’ve got a million errands to run. You hop in the car and head out when you suddenly remember: you have a visitation to go to today!

Ok, so maybe we haven’t all been there, but one funeral home in Saginaw, Michigan is pretty sure that we all will be there in the years to come.

That’s why the Paradise Funeral Chapel is now offering would-be mourners an option for a drive-thru visitation.

It’s the perfect option for those who want to show just how much the dearly departed meant to them – without having to actually get out of their car.

It works like this: sensors in the ground detect a car’s weight when it pulls into the drive-thru lane. This triggers the curtains to pull back on the drive-thru window, revealing the casket, tilted at a minor angle to make for easier in-car viewing.

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“I wanted to bring something to Saginaw that we’ve never had here before,”  Ivan Phillips, owner of Paradise Funeral Chapel, told WNEM News in Saginaw.

“You may find people who are afraid of funeral homes, now they can view their loved ones from the convenience of their car.”

In fact, Phillips is hailing his innovation as a step forward for making funerals more accessible. Previously, he had allowed funerals and visitations to be streamed over the internet, so that those with physical disabilities or social anxiety can still participate.

He believes the drive-thru visitation may be a step forward for the funeral industry.

“The funeral industry is changing rapidly. So my intent was to bring something here that was accessible to the community,” Phillips said.

And to those who may doubt the long-term appeal of the idea, or who say it’s not exactly a dignified way to bid farewell to someone, Phillips has one answer: try it first before you judge.

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