‘Allow a hurting family to stay together’: Funeral home posts message about stopping for procession

A funeral home in Virginia wants to remind the public about the importance of stopping out of respect during a procession.

Oakey’s Funeral Service & Crematory posted a powerful message to Facebook after an unfortunate incident on Jan. 8. 

“To the thirty-something man in the power suit who honked and forced his black SUV through our line…To the person who tried to pass us and then moved his car into our lane to block our progress…Perhaps you don’t know. Perhaps you didn’t recognize the hearse and the flapping flags on the first few cars. Perhaps you didn’t notice that we all had our lights on and our hazards flashing. Perhaps your mama never taught you to show respect to the dead by showing kindness to the grieving.”

The post goes on to say that inside the hearse was a 20-year-old woman who had recently died, leaving behind a husband and 1-year-old baby girl. 

“You couldn’t know anything about the person in that hearse or the many people who followed. But you still could have stopped. You could have waited. You could have recognized that someone else’s pain was greater than your need to get to lunch.”

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“Her parents saw you—you were just the first of many who will be impatient with their grief. Her younger siblings saw you—breaking the chain of cars that separated them from their sister’s body and their parents’ arms.”

The funeral home wants to remind the public that the people involved in a procession are feeling terrible grief.

“You see, a funeral procession is not about getting to the cemetery at the same time. A funeral procession is a chain of connection, a visible sign of the invisible bond of grief. To the grieving, it is inconceivable that the world keeps going when their world stopped.”

The post offered some suggestions to drivers who may get angry that a funeral procession made them a few minutes late. 

“The next time this happens, try not to think of the fact that you missed one rotation of the lights; think instead about what the people in those cars will miss. Try not to think of being late for your lunch date; think about the people who will never again get to meet their loved one for lunch. Try to consider that maybe you could inconvenience yourself for one moment to allow a hurting family to stay together, to show them that you see them and you recognize their loss.”