Yesterday I watched a casket being unloaded from a black (of course) hearse. I was sitting in the sunshine on a slab of smooth concrete outside a nicely landscaped suburban Temple, waiting for a meeting to start.
Two frumpy and off-the-rack suited "funeral guys" carefully rolled the fine looking tan wood box onto the gurney and shut the curtained rear doors. Turning slowly they pointed the eternally reposed toward the double glass doors, soon to be front and center at the goodbye party.
About 3 months ago I attended a funeral service at a different Temple, but I hadn't seen that box roll by.
More funeral guys stood around the Ford "Police Interceptor" (really) sedans. The magnetized signs on the driver's doors convinced me they were Funeral Escorts.
I spun through the times I've seen those escort cars zip into an intersection and stop. Then the death flag-bearing Chrysler minivans, Toyota Subarus, Dodge Ram pick-ups, Mercedes 450s, Cadillac Escalades and high-mileage beaters of all kinds parade by, solemnly.
The makes and models of the funeral conga line depend on the socioeconomic stats of the deceased. The number of vehicles are based on something else...how well liked or generous or important? big family, large death notice? Level of love contributed to the universe?
Every time I see a funeral pass by I wonder the same thing. How many cars will my line have? How many people want to see my box?