A Memphis, Tennessee funeral home is undertaking a new project: Offering drive-thru visitations for the bereaved.
The R. Bernard Funeral Home is housed in a building that formerly was a bank, so owner Ryan Bernard decided to take advantage of the drive-thru by allowing mourners to pay their respects without leaving their car.
“I got the idea from a funeral home out in California,” Bernard told Fox 13 Memphis. “I thought it would be neat to add to the Memphis area. Just to add something unique to our funeral home.”
Bernard said a family having a funeral can schedule a drive-thru visitation earlier in the day. People drive up to the visitation window, sign in on an iPad and get to view the dearly departed.
“Some people, they don’t want to deal with the hassle, the chaos of a large funeral; parking, especially with inclement weather, so that was an extra convenience for those,” Bernard told WATN TV.
So far, four families have taken advantage of the drive-through service, but some locals see it as a grave misstep.
“Why would you even do that though?” Myron Baker told WATN TV. “Death is, at certain places they say you should celebrate death. But at the same time that’s something that is private for the family, so if you have a drive-thru window that show that, really you just promoting a business.”
Bernard says he’s offering convenience to people who are already going through a tough time, including those who have limited mobility or just hate funerals.
“You’ll be surprised how many people who just can’t stomach coming into a funeral home. They’re scared, so it offers convenience to those,” Bernard told Fox 13 Memphis.
Bernard said he plans to offer live-streaming of funerals in the coming weeks, according to UPI.