We generally, I'm sure, do what others do in other rural areas such as ours. Most of our community families choose to have the visitation and services at one of our churches (Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ). Food is indeed brought to the Fellowship Halls wherever the body is, and until only recently, a memeber of the community, be it close friend or whomever besides the family (or they can if they so choose, but usually not, since they are worn out already) "sit up" all night in the church. There is a lot of coffee drinking, conversation in hushed tones (out of due respect), eating, and occasionally laughter as the decadent is remembered with funny stories and fondness. Usually the visitation is a few hours the day after the death, in the evening, and after arrangements are made with the funeral home, of course. Then, visitation is likely held much of the day the next day, and the next, if it lasts that long, and usually only because there is family that has had to make arrangements and come afar from elsewhere in the country. But, visitation remains until time of service, and flowers/gifts are brought in by local florists all this time. Then, when the service begins, the sponsoring funeral home takes over and the service begins. Afterward, the body is loaded into the Cadillac-looking vehicle, then the family follows, then friends. Nowadays, I see that cars in line use their emergency flashers to distinguish cemetery-goers from other traffic because so many vehicles now come with automatic lights-on.

Another thing we do that hearkens to the old days is, traffic still pulls over, out of respect for the dead and the family, until the procession has gone by! I love this custom and hope it never dies. It is hear-rending.

Thanks for allowing me to post.

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