The additional expense of utilizing the funeral home’s family car can be significant. The funeral home has the expense of purchasing, maintaining, and insuring, as well as the burden of added taxes, and the additional employee hired to drive the car. As any business must, they, of course, pass those expenses on to their client families. This vehicle is an expensive piece of equipment for the funeral home to own and operate.
In understanding the expenses associated with the family car, why would a funeral home take on this expense and provide this option to its clients?
GRIEF BRIEF 64
Driving is especially dangerous during the early stages of bereavement.
One’s mind will wander, and suddenly one is where he or she was going, without noticing the drive there.
It is common for recently bereaved individuals to run traffic lights and stop signs.
Traffic reports indicate an increase in missing turns and traffic accidents during this time as well.
Be extra careful if you must drive, but it is recommended, that you engage someone else to run your errands for a while.
This past week, I witnessed first hand the wisdom of incurring the expense of the family car onto one’s funeral bill. As the service was underway, a family member arriving late to the service of her departed loved one, mistook her gas pedal for her brake. Once her vehicle began to move, thinking her foot was on her brake, she punched her petal to the floor thinking she would come to an abrupt stop. Unfortunately, she set into motion the exact opposite reaction of her desired result. She lost total control of her vehicle, and as my husband and I watched, she spun a very high-speed donut in our parking lot. Fortunately, just before her vehicle began to lose contact with the ground, she smashed into her cousin’s brand spanking new, pretty cherry red truck. The force of the impact moved his truck sideways approximately four feet and knocked my mailbox off of its perch, other than that, all in attendance were safely seated in our chapel, engulfed in their loved ones funeral service.
One might think that tardiness was the cause of this accident. Perhaps had she been just a few minutes earlier, she might not have been in such a hurry. Perhaps then, her focus would have been on her driving rather than getting into the service for which she was late. Her tardiness may indeed have contributed to the accident, but I do not believe it is what caused it. The shaken woman was utterly upset when she exited her vehicle; she was confused, dazed, and suffering enormous grief. It was her grief, in my opinion, that interfered with the safe and efficient operation of her vehicle.
When one is suffering grief, their mind is preoccupied with the death of their loved one. They are unable to concentrate as they normally would and they fail to function at their normal capacity. Have you ever wondered why corporations offer bereavement leave? It seems to be a very kind benefit, however, your workplace benefits from your absence during this time. As does driving, work related accidents increase exponentially by bereaved employees. Your inability to concentrate and function safely and accurately is too great a risk for those who might suffer from your compromised state of mind. It is to your company’s advantage that you remain home for a few days. Your absence makes the workplace a much safer environment for those who work with you. If your firm offers bereavement leave, please benefit from this gift. Likewise, utilize the benefits of the family car during your time of need.
If the woman who had the accident in my parking lot had arrived four minutes earlier to her loved one’s service, she quite possibly would have injured a considerable number of her family members. Just four minutes earlier, the parking lot had been full of people scurrying to get into the funeral service of their loved one. If she had spun out four minutes earlier, her cousin’s brand spanking new, pretty cherry red truck and my mailbox might not have been the only casualties from her accident. The scenario could have been very tragic for a family already in the throes of grief, and recovery would have become very complicated indeed.
The added expense of the family car may seem ostentatious and unnecessary, however when compared to the safety and welfare of your family and those about you, its benefits suddenly become quite possibly the most valued expense on your funeral bill.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am the owner and Managing Funeral Director at Queen City Funeral Home in Queen City Texas. I am an author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at www.MourningCoffee.com.