Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 24, 2010

Funeral Procession

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

From the church to the cemetery, the hearse transports the deceased followed by a procession of cars.  It is a scene that is all too familiar.  There are certain laws that are enforced concerning the procession.  In this state a funeral procession has the right of way.  People are required to yield and not cause an obstruction.

Many of us remember the days before such a law.  It was a common law, or at least a common decency that allowed for the procession to move unobstructed.  Things have surely changed!

I remember earlier days.  When a funeral procession passed, all vehicles pulled over to the side of the road.  I know that Interstates and four-lane roads will not necessarily allow that, but think of other roads and times.

I certainly came from a generation of respect for the deceased and the family.  No traffic moved until the procession had passed.  People on sidewalks would pause and remain still until the procession passed.  Even on a Sunday afternoon, I can recall that when a procession passed the house, we would move quickly to the inside of the house.  It seemed disrespectful to sit on the porch and rock when a family was in grief.

When a funeral procession was to pass in front of the family business, my father would have everyone remain inside.  He would turn off the lights and let it appear that the store was closed.  All the businesses in those days would show such respect.

But where are we today?  Impatience has overturned respect.  I have seen it more than once, but the other day I witnessed such disrespect that I felt anger.  My reaction came as a result of anger and rage that I saw in drivers who felt the procession was an obstacle to their schedule and agenda.

I watched several cars.  They would weave in and out seeking to move ahead of the procession.  They would try even to go around on the shoulder of the road.  I was the first car following the procession.  I had pulled out from a street after the procession passed.  As I followed, I was able to witness first-hand the impatience and lack of respect by several drivers in other vehicles.

There was no empathy with those drivers.  I submit to you that they felt their time and agenda were more important than the few minutes the procession needed to make the turn from the main highway.  What I observed was a self-centeredness.  If such people can show such an attitude for that few minutes, what must life be for others who work with them or live in the same household?

I suppose it is such people that caused state laws to be enacted concerning funeral processions.  I am glad there are such laws, but how much I wish that such laws were unnecessary because of the decency and respectfulness of people!

“Show proper respect to everyone.” (1 Peter 2:17)  “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”  (Proverbs 29:11)



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