A Michigan funeral home recently introduced a new innovation in their business – a drive-thru window that allows people to pay their last respects without having to leave their vehicles.
Each car that passes through is given three minutes to sign and bid their farewell.
Ivan Phillips, president of the Paradise Funeral Chapel, explained to ABC the concept behind the drive-thru funeral home, saying that most people do not like funeral homes because they are generally gloomy and dark.
He also said that most funeral homes are not as friendly and accessible to people in wheelchairs.
He first thought of the idea of a drive-thru in 2013 when he worked with an elderly lady whose husband had died. They were both living in a nursing home during the time of the husband’s death, and the woman was too sick to move around and make it to the funeral.
Phillips thought that if they just had a drive-thru at that time, it would have been easy to take the woman for a van ride so that she could see her husband one last time.
The drive-thru window is covered by curtains, which are activated via motion sensor, so that it opens up when someone drives along. The drive-thru also has a registry book and a memorial box, where people can sign up and drop sympathy cards, respectively.
The new window was recently introduced this Sunday. It hasn’t been used yet, but Phillips hopes that it will give people who have a hard time going to wakes and funerals the chance to do so. The service will be free and optional for families.
The Paradise Funeral Chapel is not the first in the country to feature a drive-thru window, as there are also services like these in Virginia, California and South Carolina.