In my town, funeral processions are still a thing.
Now, I used to despise leading funeral processions, for the sole reason that I was unsure of myself. When you’re leading a large group of cars you want to make sure that you’re taking the easiest route and most importantly, that you don’t get lost. Being new to the business, I, of course, doubted my ability. But it’s like anything, and as time went on I became more comfortable and sure of myself. And today, leading a funeral is like second nature to me.
So last week as I was leading a procession from the funeral home to the cemetery, I took notice of some of the thoughts that went through my head during the journey. So now I’m going to share with you all the top 5 thoughts I have when I lead a funeral procession.
5. What Church/Cemetery am I going to again?
I swear, when I’m placing flags on cars and instructing people to turn on their headlights and flashers, I have my destination in mind. However, the moment I get into my car and turn on my lights, I have a slight panic attack. Where am I going again??? is often the first thought that comes to my mind before I drive away.
4. Can these cars leave any bigger gaps?
When you’re in a procession, you want every car to drive as closely to the car in front of them while still being safe. I am a close driver, always. So if anyone is more than five feet away from me at any given time I feel as if they are light years away. The thing is, that you really have to avoid leaving any large gaps. Otherwise, drivers may think the procession is over and weave in and out. Or cars may weave in and out anyways. Because people can sometimes be jerks.
3. Can I make this light?
I wish that I was a magic fairy procession leader who always made every green light and always got to the destination in the perfect way. Sadly, one of my most thought ‘thoughts’ is OH MY GOSH WILL I MAKE THIS GREEN LIGHT? And then proceeding to speed up so I can usher all my cars though an intersection.
2. Am I using my horn too much?
Whenever I come to an intersection, I always beep my horn two or three times to alert other cars that a procession is coming though. People don’t pay attention that much when their driving (music, talking, cell phones, etc.) so I want to make sure we’re seen. Even though this question runs through my mind, I always answer it; No, I am not using my horn too much, in fact, I’m not using it ENOUGH.
1. They did NOT just do that!
This thought is not just a thought, as I find myself yelling this out loud at least once every procession. Whether a car cuts me off, or weaves in and out of my procession, or is just plain rude (because everyone is always in a hurry) I find myself wanting to pull out my hair at times. So yeah, this is definitely my #1 thought.
With all of this being said, I just want to add that although for others, funeral processions can be annoying (I mean, waiting for fifty cars to go though a light when you have to get to work is definitely a pain in the butt) just remember that we’re carrying someone’s loved one to their final place of rest. It’s an inconvenience for others, but honestly, it only lasts a few minutes. Please, the next time you’re held up because of a procession, take a deep breath and have some patience and respect. After all, one day we might be carrying your loved one.
Will the Priest or Minister be driving with me?
Will I make it to my destination on time?
I’m not going to make it to my destination on time…
I AM SWEATING LIKE A MAN IN THIS HOT CAR. (appropriate thought for summer, only.)