Friday, December 30, 2005

Death Be Not Speedy

I was a part of a funeral procession yesterday, and I'd like to take a minute to talk about what that is like. For people such as myself, the funeral procession is a solemn and dignified ceremony; the last earthly journey for the deceased. It is a respectful journey, with each and every individual car in the line part of a final honour guard. I can't explain exactly why I feel the procession is something sacred, but I do.

So, when some yabbo with no respect or class decides he's going to jam his way into the procession, it tends to boil my potatoes. To anyone who reads this who doesn't offer respect for a procession, I'd like to say a few words. First off, if you see a funeral procession, you should pull over, and allow it to pass. If you're in too big a hurry, at least turn off that street, and take an alternate route.

Perhaps the ceremony and dignity, the integrity of such a procession is meaningless to you. If so, then this is a pity. However, it means something to the people who are a part of it. Show them simple respect and courtesy, and don't drive like your regular self. A funeral procession is a last goodbye, its not some kind of deliberately placed annoyance designed to make you late and piss you off.

One individual in particular comes to mind. Not only did he jam his way into the procession, he actually tried to cut me off. I mean that - when he tried to get in front of me, my front bumper was past his rear bumper. I guess he expected me to panic and back off and let him in. Instead, what happened was that I sped up, forcing him to back off or hit me. I don't like bullies.

All the cars in the procession had their headlights and four-way flashers going. We also all had placards at the front of our vehicles identifying us as part of the funeral procession. So rude drivers cannot claim that they didn't know what was going on. By the time we were half-way to the graveyard, the procession was broken up in to five or six separate groups. We were no longer a part of a procession, we were no longer a part of the ceremony. We were no longer a part of the honour guard.

There were a few people - a few - who had respect. They pulled over and waited for the procession to pass. I appreciate that, as I am sure the close family of the deceased did as well. Sadly, there were only a few. I guess the world we live in is too "fast paced" and "modern" to take a few moments out of their busy days, with their "Internet" and their "iPod personal music devices" to show some respect for a dead man and his family.

So now a plea: If you see a funeral procession, be respectful. Pull over, or if you are walking, stop and bow your head, and allow the procession to proceed onwards at its slow, dignified pace. It might make you five minutes late, but it will make you a better person. Five minutes is a small price to pay for your own dignity, isn't it?


Auntie Bernie said...

Ah c'mon! I gotta get to the store before all the good deals....
Alright, I can't even pretend. It's a great point, Ash. Our society could go a long way to being a better place if we just taught our kids to have a little respect....and remembered it ourselves.

kate.d. said...

it really is amazing, the self-involvement of some people. i can't even conceive of trying to cut into a funeral procession.

unreal, unreal, unreal.