Does this happen everywhere?

I swear next week I’ll write about non-funeral shit but I was wondering about something….

In the tiny town I’m from everyone in the funeral procession turns on their running lights from the funeral home to the cemetery and all the cops stops traffic to let the mourners run all the traffic lights and stop signs and everyone who sees you has to pull their car over on the shoulder of the road and sits quietly until everyone has passed, as if people in mourning were too dangerous to be trusted to drive near us. It’s a very sweet tradition ( and sort of cool because you’re mourning but you also get to run red lights and that’s a nice consolation prize) but since I’ve moved to bigger towns I never see people pull over for funerals.

Does this happen in your town?

590 thoughts on “Does this happen everywhere?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. This is definitely not something that happens in my city (1.2 million people) in Canada. Some people will politely let a procession go by unbroken when they are on a thoroughfare, but the police are never involved!

  2. I’ve seen it happen in various cities in Australia I’ve lived in. I don’t see too many people pulling over these days, but the lights on for the procession is still a thing.
    I hope you and Victor and Hailey are okay.

  3. It happens in my stinky little town. There is also a ladies origination that handles the get together afterwords so the family doesn’t have to do it

  4. Nope, AFAIK it’s just a small town thing. It would be kinda bananas in a city… Hundreds of people would be affected multiple times per day.

  5. Yes. definitely, even on divided highways. Minimally, most cards slow down, but many still stop until the procession has gone by. Across Alabama.

  6. I live in Windsor, ON and some people do it and others do not. The running of the lights does get to happen though. We all put our hazards on and run lights and stop signs.

  7. Happens in KCMO, too. and of course, in the surrounding agri-towns and suburbs.

    if you were raised right, you don’t cut in line, either!

  8. I’m in San Francisco and I see this. If you’re part of a procession you get a nifty “FUNERAL” sign on your dash and people pull over, and let you have a whole lane. Not sure if this is law or just courtesy or what. But I don’t think it’s just a small town thing.

  9. I remember that from the small town I grew up in. Thanks! I had forgotten the caring nature of small towns.

  10. I’m in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles County) and yes. But you have to request it and pay for the sheriff’s Officer or LAPD to do it.

  11. Not on such a scale, but nearer the cemetery yes. And I live in the San Fernando Valley so that’s saying something. Unless it’s a law enforcement funeral, then watch out. We take that shit seriously here. Shut down roads, fire truck salutes, bagpipes.

  12. I’ve seen it in wi, not in a while. Luke I remember it when I was a child. But I haven’t seen it lately.

  13. Yes we do this in Minnesota. It’s an etiquette thing that people are not really taught much anymore. It’s considered very rude to break up the funeral procession.

  14. Yes in Pittsburgh area of PA. I don’t think I’ve seen people pull over but they will wait for the entire procession to go through. Maybe there’s only police escort for larger funerals IDK

  15. I grew up in a small Texas town so I saw that all the time. I am in a much larger city in Oklahoma and I’ve seen it once or twice in the 29 years I’ve lived here. So…I guess it’s sort of a (pardon the expression) dying custom in other areas.

  16. It used to happen when I was growing up, but I don’t see many pulling to the side anymore. Most seem annoyed that they can’t go through the light because of the motorcade.

  17. It happened where I grew up, and then I didn’t see it for decades when I was moving around the country. Then I moved to New Orleans and they do funerals UP there, so yeah- they did that.

    See also Smokey and the Bandit.

  18. Other cars don’t pull over. But typically a cop car/motorcycle will lead the procession to block off intersections and keep the procession moving to its destination. I’m from North Eastern Ohio.

  19. I live in Georgia and it doesn’t matter, small or big, traffic stops and waits for a funeral procession to pass. I’m sorry for your loss, but you wrote about it so beautifully.

  20. Yes, and even in larger cities. When my Grandma was buried, everyone in the procession had their headlights on, and people on the Interstate cleared the lane for us.

  21. They still do it in New Jersey. When I went home for my mom’s funeral last year, I was in a car with my sister and brother-in-law on the way to the church when my bro-in-law decided to take a different route than that of the procession. Everyone behind him followed, not realizing he was very familiar with the area and was leading them through so many back roads and parking lot short cuts that about half the people behind us never got to the funeral. Mom would have found that funny and hence, so did I.

  22. I’ve felt like an asshole on more than one occasion who beeped at “traffic” that ended up being a funereal procession. So yes, it’s a tradition lots of other places, and a wonderful one.

    I always thought of it as marching in one last parade.

  23. Yep. People even get out of their cars and take off their hats. San Angelo still considers itself a small town.

  24. In smaller towns in Canada it does for sure. In larger cities it only happens if it’s a dignitary or someone well known. Imagine moving from a small town and pulling over for a funeral in a city. People were not happy. I learned quick.

  25. Happens in Minnesota. The running of the streetlight though can be dependent on the roadway, the day, the time, and likely the number of cars in the funeral procession.

  26. We used to live in San Jose California a few blocks from a cemetery, and this was done all the time.
    Mourners also got a sticker/flyer to stick in their back window that said “Funeral”. But there was also a police procession and people would pull over until everyone passed.
    It might just depend on the cemetery and if they provide that as an option

  27. I live in Wisconsin, also a smaller town, and typically here we put on our hazard lights (the flashing ones) and drive that way. People are supposed to pull over and let the procession through and usually they do. Is it just a small town thing maybe?

  28. Omaha Nebraska population 500,000….. we don’t pull over cuz its not an ambulance that needs to pass but yes we stop and allow the funeral procession to go through first. Sometimes they have police escort but usually its a “funeral escort car” from the funeral home.They drive ahead first and pull into intersection to stop traffic and people just stop. Its usually short so although I can understand how its respectful, its not considered needed in bigger city cuz in less than 5 min the cars will have passed

  29. Absolutely, yes. I live in a middle-sized city in South Carolina, and this always happens.

  30. I always thought the reason for this is so the mourners from out of toe don’t get lost on the way to the gravesite (and then maybe miss the burial). I was just at a funeral and burial yesterday where this was not done, and one of the people I was with was lamenting how it would have been done in her small home town. At any rate, with the prevalence of GPS it doesn’t seem as useful any more.

  31. In my small town, it is a very sacred ritual. If you’re standing on a sidewalk, you stop and wait until the entire processional has gone by with the men removing their hats. If it’s a veteran or a fallen hero, you place your hand over heart or you salute. I also grew up near the cemetery, so I often would be impacted by the beauty of the processional, watching the hearse followed by the limo and the number of cars. I would write beautiful stories about their lives as the deceased took their final trip, knowing that this was for the living and not the dead. If the processional was short, I tried to think that the person who passed was the last of a family and they were going to meet their huge family at the pearly gates. As I’ve grown my ideas of the afterlife has changed but not the respect given to those that mourn. Even living in a huge city, I still pull over, when I can and not cause an accident, as my way of showing respect to those who lives are irrevocably changed.

  32. The only people who do not pull over (safely) for funeral processions are rude AHoles! I see it in big and small towns here in Texas. It should be a reflex- like saying Bless You when someone sneezes or Thank You when someone holds the door for you. It is just good manners and decent kindness!

  33. We used to do exactly this but since the population got over a million I haven’t seen it

  34. Yes. They still do it here (for the most part). Our town isn’t so small anymore, but most people do this. I’m in Baytown, which is about 30 minutes east of Houston.

  35. I grew up in a tiny town in SW Minnesota and yes, they do it here, too. Funny, I always wondered the same thing about other areas of the country.

  36. It happens here in East Texas (small town) and it also happened in bigger city Houston suburb when I lived there.

  37. I’m from San Diego and this used to happen. Don’t see it much anymore unless it’s a large procession but I think local police are notified so they can prepare.

  38. In my 800-person hometown, when there are enough people on the road, this happens. Since I’ve moved to the DC area? Nope! I’ve seen people cut in and out of marked processions.

  39. I live near Houston and they do this in and outside of city limits. I always thought it’s done to keep the funeral procession together. Maybe not everyone in the procession is familiar with the route because of out of town family and friends.

  40. I’m in Mississippi, and people do this in large and small towns. Only place it might not happen is on the Interstate.

  41. I think it happens in small towns still, but here in the big city, not so much, especially since they sometimes end up on the freeway.

  42. I’m not sure about my town. My family isn’t religious so we have always had a service at the funeral parlour which is less than a mile away from the cemetery.

  43. I grew up in the twin cities in Minnesota and yes they do it back there. Also here in Washington I’ve seen it as well.

  44. I live in San Diego and I’ve only ever encountered a funeral procession on the freeway. I can assure you, no one pulled over (because… yanno… freeway), but most people did try to stay out of their way. Except for us, because they were blocking our exit, so we just cut right through them like disrespectful heretics.

  45. Yes in small town Indiana (where my grandparents funerals were) but not in any of the cities I’ve lived in (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles).

  46. Not just a Southern thing or a small-town thing; it’s standard practice in the Midwest, too. We will also bring you a casserole after the funeral with our name on the bottom of the dish. I do that here in Texas and sometimes people look at me funny, but I attribute that to a lack of home training. 🙂

  47. I’m from SC, living in WI. I have not seen it done here, although it’s so ingrained in me that I still do it. And people definitely do it in my hometown. I’ve also noticed in some of the larger Midwestern cities that people don’t get out of the way of emergency services vehicles, either.

  48. New Jersey–of course. You don’t get a cop unless you are a celebrity or a huge crowds are expected. Some people rudely don’t defer to the procession. Trust me, you don’t know fear until you have relatives in your car, you have been cut off in the procession, and you don’t know how to get to the cemetery, much less the actual plot.

  49. I believe it’s the law in Colorado but most people in bigger cities don’t do. I don’t know why. I was raised in a small town so I know to do it.
    {hugs}
    Sandy/Wynterose

  50. Suburb of Chicago and absolutely yes we get to run lights and stop signs. That and funeral potatoes are about the only good things funerals have going for them.

  51. I live in a small town, we do it here. But when visiting my dad in Texas, near Houston, we did it there too. Not a small town.

  52. It happens in my hometown (small town in rural southwestern Virginia, population around 19,000) but to be honest, I’ve never even seen a funeral procession in the still-small-but-a-lot-bigger university town I live in now (central Virginia, population around 112,000). I’m now thinking that’s incredibly weird – I’ve lived here 19 years now and never, ever seen a funeral procession as far as I can remember.

  53. It happens in my town and I’ve been to funerals in other areas where it happens. Twice in cities. I wonder if, depending on circumstances, the family or the funeral home request it in those larger areas.

  54. Sort of – folks don’t usually pull over, but it’s an assumed rule that the procession remains unbroken so you can’t, like, cut through on your way to turn. The cars will either have their lights on or their hazards going to indicate it’s a funeral procession. I don’t think Car #1 is “allowed” to run lights (I honestly can’t remember) but if the light changes and the procession isn’t all the way through, it’s expected that everyone will stop and let them all go through. This is St. Louis, btw. Fairly good sized town.

  55. Big city Canadian here. Some people will be polite and allow a procession to proceed together (cars will have headlights on, yes). People who get impatient and butt into the line are douchecanoes if you ask me. The police will block intersections if its a dignitary or if it’s expected to be a large funeral. They did this for my cousin and his wife when they were killed in a car accident. They weren’t dignitaries but they were the type of people who everyone knew and loved so the procession was particularly long. I was riding close to the front of the line and seeing the coordination of the police on their motorcycles plus their final salute as we turned into the cemetery was very cool.

  56. I’m up in CT and that happens here too .Everyone in the funeral gets a sign/sticker to put on their windshield

  57. I’ve seen it happen in San Diego, CA for larger funeral events. Typically, they may not run red lights or stop all traffic, but there will be a police escort. It’s not uncommon to see the FUNERAL window stickers and the cars with their running lights on.

  58. It did in my small town. Now that I live in a larger city I don’t think it happens with exceptions for certain people. When my brother passed away they did it for us, however he was a police officer. So maybe that was why?

  59. Yes, people do this here in Albuquerque (metro area about a million people, so not a small town, though not really a big city either.) ABQ has a serious case of sprawl, so sometimes a funeral procession goes on for quite a ways.

  60. Texas girl here and that’s always been the way I’ve seen it done to the point where it almost seems rude or disrespectful to me not to pull over. And the police escort is pretty standard to me, too. When my grandpa died (in East Texas) I even saw a man who had pulled over on the side of the road remove his hat as our procession passed him. I live in Austin now and it seems like some people do it here and some don’t. Not sure if that’s just the town vs. city thing or having people here who are from somewhere else (where maybe they don’t do that) or what. Funny story, when my grandpa died the funeral home provided a limo for the immediate family that picked us up at my grandparents’ house and drove us to and from everything. I was a poor kid and I’d never ridden in anything close to a limo and as we were leaving I addressed the driver with a quiet, “Sir?” He was startled and almost pulled over and said, “Yes?” I asked, “May I call you Jeeves?” And he laughed as said, “Yes ma’am, you can call me anything you want.” And when we were leaving the cemetery to head back to the house I said, “Home please, Jeeves.” He was a super nice guy.

  61. That’s pretty much what happens in Western Pennsylvania and I’ve also seen it in Eastern P

  62. I am in a smaller town in Indiana, and this is definitely expected of anyone who has good manners. 🙂

  63. In PA you wait for the mourners to pass through. But there’s almost always one asshole….

  64. I live in the middle of the cornfields in IL and it’s hit or miss. I believe, but am not 100% sure, that legally you are supposed to pull over for a procession. Unfortunately, many of those under about 50 don’t seem to know this, or just don’t care. I’m not some old biddy complaining about the kids (I’m only 35!!!), I promise. It’s just that I didn’t know that was what you were supposed to do until I was in a funeral procession myself and I’ve had people get really angry at me when I have strategically pulled over for one in a way that does not allow them to pass.

  65. Also, thanks for the reminder… I’m going to now remember to teach my child, who’s newly learning to drive, how to be respectful if she encounters a procession along the road.

  66. I’m in St. Louis, and we get signs that say “FUNERAL” and the lead cars get flashing lights so as to let people know that a procession is coming, and to not be a jerk and cut through or break the line. Some mourners will stop when they come to a red light, others will just drive through. I don’t see many cops with them anymore, which honestly could be a staffing issue or it could be they just don’t do it anymore (either is likely, our cops are notorious jerks who keep losing people to the surrounding counties).

  67. We still do that in my not so little town of 75,000. Except for the one jerk I saw recently who had the audacity to cut off the funeral procession and realized too late it was for a fallen police officer. I have a feeling Karma will find him.

  68. I live in Georgia and pulling over for a funeral procession is considered showing respect and courtesy.

  69. Yes, it absolutely happens in Stanislaus County, California. You just have to pay attention to what’s going on and not accidently join the procession. Totally embarrassing. Not saying I’ve ever done that…. (definitely not saying that!).

  70. Can confirm this happens in NJ. On the highway, people go off to the sides to let the procession through. I’m long since agnostic but I still find myself doing a tiny prayer any time I see it passing on the road, something my mom taught me when I was a child.

    Good vibes never hurt, I suppose.

  71. That’s pretty much what happens in Western Pennsylvania and I’ve also seen it in Eastern PA.

  72. I live in Central Alabama. Here, people still pull over and wait for you to pass. However different counties have different rules about whether or not the police will lead a procession. Some towns, it’s only for high ranking officials. Some towns won’t allow processionals at all. You may have to check the rules in your area. However, I had two family funerals in the last month. Both in different parts of Alabama, and they both had a processional.

  73. Yes, used to drive a hearse and we often had processions. Now you have to hire an escort (police) to stop traffic.

  74. Yes that’s how it’s supposed to work in Muskegon MI as well. And pretty much everyone complies except my great-uncle Harvey in his brother in law’s funeral procession who stopped at a red light, stranding 2/3 of the procession behind him. And then, leading this confused and truncated partial train of cars, wasn’t sure of the location of the cemetery. It was 20 years ago and yes, we’re still talking about it.

  75. I’ve never seen it where I live (the central coast of california) but I was in LA once and they were doing it there and I can’t even being to describe the clster fck!

  76. In the south, they turn on headlights in the funeral procession. People meeting it on the road, going the other way, will voluntarily pull over to the side of the road to wait until it passes.

  77. Yes, we do that in Dubuque Iowa. My dad is such a fast driver, though, most of the time we beat the hearse! 😄

  78. From a medium-sized city in Canada and people always stop for funeral processions as a matter of respect. I don’t think I’ve ever seen police involvement.

  79. Yes that does happen where I am. I think it’s a nice sign of respect from people. Each vehicle gets a placard to put in the window so others know you are part of the procession. From Edmonton, AB

  80. If you are a part of the procession you have to have your hazards on from the funeral place to the cemetery. But you usually get to run red lights and what not. If they are prominent in the town there maybe police escorts.

  81. Small towns yes, I’ve seen it lots and definitely let everyone pass. In the larger cities I’ve lived in, they do the lights, but people don’t typically stop to let them by.

  82. we do that here (midwest). plus, the funeral home gives everyone a little purple flag that says funeral. you hook it onto the driver’s side window. i’ve heard that you can get in trouble if you break into a funeral procession all willy-nilly but i’ve never seen it.

  83. Definitely in VA, even in the big cities. I’ve seen it done in Richmond, for instance. In fact, there are funeral procession traffic laws on the books in many states.

  84. We’ve had cops lead the procession and tail the procession to make sure all of the mourners stay together and make it to the church or cemetery together. Everyone else has to pull over and wait for the procession to pass through.

  85. I’m from a smaller town in Illinois (12,000 people) and they do this there. The town I live in now (400,000), this doesn’t happen at all.

  86. I remember one afternoon last year where everyone was stopped for a funeral procession at getting out of school time. I needed to get my kiddos to TKD, but we sat there and waited for them to pass. That’s the first procession I’ve seen around here, so it might have been a fluke. I highly doubt it was though.

  87. Yes, Grand Forks, ND does this. Not sure if it happens for everyone or if the funeral director asks for escort but it is very moving.

  88. It’s a thing in Pittsburgh, PA, except that it’s the hazard flashers not the running lights.

  89. I grew up in the Florida Panhandle and it is something that happens there to this day.

    I will say it’s been interesting to read the responses because I always wondered if maybe it was a Southern thing. My best friend in high school was from Wisconsin and she wasn’t familiar with it. It’s nice to see that it is widespread.

  90. I’m in Oklahoma City and we pull over for a funeral procession. It was weird when my aunt passed, my uncle was a highway patrol officer in the SW part of the state and the route from the funeral home to cemetery required us to travel on a divided highway. Granted there were a LOT of escort hi-po’s but people on the OTHER side of the highway were pulling over too. It was surreal.

  91. In my hometown of St. Louis, yes. But I’ve been in Southern California for 39 yrs and I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a funeral procession on the road. And I haven’t been to a funeral where we also went to the cemetery in many years.

  92. It’s totally a thing here, even on the Interstate and when you cross counties either the sheriff is involved or the state highway patrol.

    Don’t interfere with the funeral procession or you get some serious bad mojo.

    (Mississippi.)

  93. It USED to happen in Michigan where I grew up (also small town). But I haven’t ever seen it happen in Seattle where I am now.

  94. We don’t pull over because if you are ahead of them you are going faster than them. We do not pull into the middle of a procession tho we wait gravely at the intersection until it is passed.
    Martina

  95. I live in a suburb of Chicago, and the funerals I have attended do the funeral procession line. We don’t have usually police officers, but the hearse goes first, all the cars turn their lights on, and have a sticker on the windshield that says FUNERAL. The procession goes through red lights (carefully) to stay together in the line. I can’t remember if we stopped at stop signs. Which is pretty bad, since I was driving, lol.

  96. Yes! I live in small-town south Louisiana, and that’s fairly standard practice here, too.

  97. It’s typical in small town Minnesota but I haven’t seen it in my metro city. I think because the cemeteries aren’t near the churches. You can’t block, slow traffic all the way across the city. My hometown has people run their emergency flashers AND puts white flags on the first few and last few cars in the procession.

  98. In my town (between Milwaukee and Chicago) vehicles stop at traffic lights to let the funeral procession go through. The funeral home leads the procession. Vehicles usually have flags on them.

  99. There aren’t any stoplights in our town so it’s kind of a moot point. We all stop and let the cars go by out of courtesy though.

  100. This happens in my home town, but it’s a smaller town. The only time I’ve seen it happen in the city I live in now is when it’s a cop or firefighter.

  101. I’ve always been told it’s a sign of respect.

    When we buried my grandparents in Shreveport, LA, we had police escorts that even blocked interstate ramps. The people on the interstate didn’t pull over to the side (obviously), but most did slow & pull into the opposite lane so the procession could go by.

    When my grandfather died on my mom’s side, it was a tiny town funeral. I think every cop from a 20-mile radius was out blocking streets & saluting (my cousin is a state trooper there), and every car we met (even the FedEx guy) pulled off the road & waited for us to pass.

  102. Still happening in ‘lil old Denver. Running the lights and stop signs keeps the funeral procession together so you get to the cemetery at about the same time for the graveside service. Police have to be involved here, lots of drivers are mannerless dicks and the only way they will stop and wait is if a motorcycle cop makes them

  103. It mostly doesn’t happen in the UK. I.e. the only thing that does is (polite and aware) people moving over or stopping for the procession. No running reds or stop signs. It also doesn’t happen in the places I’ve lived in Switzerland.
    And people who are grieving aren’t always the best drivers – in my immediate family there have been 2 car accidents (thankfully both minor) following deaths in my extended family.
    Feel free to keep posting funeral related stuff, it’s important to you, so it’s important to us. Also it’s been good to hear your stories and fascinating about differences in culture.

  104. Yes! I don’t know how to include a picture here from when my Papaw passed away a few months ago the whole town stopped and the fire department he worked at hung the American flag from the ladder truck. It was breath taking and honestly brought me to tears that everyone stopped to show respect for someone I love so much. I think it’s wonderful and everyone should get that for their last ride.

  105. They did this in the small town I grew up in in Utah. When my grandmother died they did the whole traffic stop thing. When my grandpa died the police escorting us and stopping traffic were in dress uniform because they all knew him and what all he’d done for the city over the years. It was very cool.

  106. Echoing commenter #75 who worded it better than I could have {Sort of – folks don’t usually pull over, but it’s an assumed rule that the procession remains unbroken so you can’t, like, cut through on your way to turn. The cars will either have their lights on or their hazards going to indicate it’s a funeral procession. I don’t think Car #1 is “allowed” to run lights (I honestly can’t remember) but if the light changes and the procession isn’t all the way through, it’s expected that everyone will stop and let them all go through. This is St. Louis, btw. Fairly good sized town.} This is exactly what happens in my densely populated Maryland suburb of Washington DC.

  107. i moved to north carolina 30+ years ago, from new england. i never saw what you are describing til i moved down here. when i am stopped waiting for the mourners to pass, i even feel compelled to turn my radio down. i’m 61 years old. the radio is 70’s folk. it’s not loud. it’s a nice thing to do, let the mourners travel in a pack.

  108. We did that for my grandmother’s funeral, had the police escort and went all the backroads to avoid trying to keep us all together on the freeway or clogging up the major roads, but the people we passed pulled over (most;y) while we passed. It was haunting in a way. I led the procession and that was a lot of pressure but I had the most visible vehicle (I was driving my dad’s large and black glittery Ford 150).

  109. I’m from Philly – YUP! it’s a thing. sometimes people just pull to the side and ride slowly along if there’s two lanes, but if it’s a one lane road, the funeral procession has the right-of-way. Sincere condolences on your loss, Jenny. Grandpas are the greatest cheerleaders and friends.

  110. Absolutely! I’m from southern Minnesota, and it goes without saying that people pull over and let the funeral pass by. It’s a sign of respect for the deceased and their families. Love how you loved your grandpa. Grandpas are one of a kind!!

  111. We don’t pull over, exactly, but people sort of make way. The funeral procession goes through lights, and nobody cuts into it from another lane.

    I grew up in Chicago, and it was the same as the small town where my husband grew up – you went from the church/funeral home, past the home of the deceased, possibly past an important place in their life if it wasn’t too far out of the way, to the cemetery in a procession. Hazard lights and stickers in place to show you were part of the procession so no other drivers would cut you off. You went through red lights if the first car made it through (if they had to stop, everyone stopped, but you didn’t have to leave space for cross traffic). And, if there were pedestrians, they would stop as the hearse went by (and men would usually take off their hats, if they were wearing one).

  112. In Beavercreek, OH we still do this too. My late husband would chase down on his motorcycle any people who didnt pull over and give them a piece of his mind!

  113. This happens where I live (New Mexico) and I guess I never thought about about how it might not happen elsewhere; it seems so normal to me.

  114. Midwest here. I think it is a small town thing. They did it for all my grandparents and for my father when he passed. Everyone just pulls over until it is passed.

  115. Yes, I’m in Oklahoma City, and people not only pull over but occasionally you’ll see someone get out i if their car and take off their hat in respect. It’s good people here.

  116. I have lived in NJ PA and VA and it has been done. I could be wrong I thought it was a sign of respect and kept the funeral procession from getting separated

  117. Yes for people pulling over during procession for each of my grandparents in small SE Kansas town; I don’t remember going through any of the few stoplights but I think they did have an escort. It was really touching – that is what made me really start crying actually. Considering I was driving, a ways back in the line, and Car #1 was BOOKING down the road, very memorable.

  118. It used to be that way in my town (and sometimes still seen if there’s a police escort); but my city has grown up so not so much anymore.

  119. Here (smallish town in eastern WA) the funeral home has a couple people try and direct traffic, and most everyone pulls to the side to give right of way. At a larger town nearby I have seen actual police blocking/directing traffic, and people pulling over the same way.

  120. In Orange County CA nope! I haven’t coordinated arrangements before, but I’ve attended many funerals here. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I assume that someone would have to pay the CHP something in order to make those things you listed happen. Personally, I’ve never seen those things happen here before. Everything costs something in SoCal… parking, respect for the dead, common courtesy…you name it. 😂

  121. In my hometown, yes. But it’s a small city. Not the big metro area where I live currently.
    It’s the law in most places that the funeral procession gets to run lights, etc, so that people can follow one another to the burial or other ceremony.
    I’ve only noticed people pulling over and stopping in the last few years, even there, though.

  122. I’m from Palmyra, PA. I can’t say we pull over but we don’t break up precession. We will wait until they are all through the light or stop sign whether they have a police escort or not.

  123. I definitely used to see this more, and typically it depends on whether the deceased’s casket has to be moved, from say, a church to the cemetery. I have been to funerals at the cemetery, so no procession is needed. I have been to funerals where the deceased is cremated and there is also no procession. I still see the procession from time to time, but it is definitely less frequent than when I was a kid. I’m sorry about your Papa.

  124. I grew up in Miami FL and they did do it there. However, now that most cars automatically have their headlights on during the daylight it makes it difficult to know who is in the procession and who is not especially with big funerals and/or in towns with a lot of traffic.

  125. I think it’s a small town thing. When my cousin died, this happened. (He lived in a little town in Central Florida.) I live in Ft. Lauderdale. People turn on their lights if they are in the procession, but people do not pull over.

  126. I’ve been in two funeral processions in my life–once for my uncle and once for my next door neighbor’s mom. We did this in both funeral processions. But only the one for my next door neighbor’s mom had police escorts because we had to go on a freeway for most of the way to the cemetary (VA cemetery).

  127. I’ve not seen cops involved actively shutting down intersections, but I was taught in drivers ed a million years ago in suburban Chicago that you are allowed to run lights as part of a funeral procession. I about had a panic attack the first time I had to do that, but in my experience, even impatient Chicagoans respected the funeral procession.

  128. I grew up in a small-ish town in Missouri. I remember this being part of the tradition. But where I am now on the west coast, not so sure, traffic is usually so insane, I don’t think it’s possible. 🙁 Maybe smaller towns perhaps?

  129. I’m on Long island in New York and 99% of people will not pull over. At the beginning of the procession they remind you to follow traffic laws. My friends sister actually got pulled over for running a red light in her uncle’s funeral procession.

  130. I think our state used to gave a law that you had to pull over for funeral processions. But I think it’s been changed. I kind of remember it on my drivers test. But yes, my hometown observed this courtesy. I observe it in the big city I live in.

  131. I’m in Pittsburgh, and have seen quite a few traffic-stopping funeral processions, some not only led by a police car, but with a few interspersed in the line and one playing follow-up. It’s a good way to make sure that all the mourners get to the cemetary around the same time so the celebrant doesn’t have to hang around waiting for people who got stopped at red lights. My mom told me that “back in the day” (40s&50s), employees of the stores along the funeral route would come outside as the procession passed to show their respects for the dead.

  132. We’ve lived all over the country due to my husband’s job and this has happened everywhere we lived. I consider it a show of respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

  133. Hi. From Newfoundland, Canada. We have the same tradition here. The funeral procession all turn on their hazard lights. No police involvement that I have ever noticed. Have oftentimes noted a rude/inpatient vehicle refusing to let the procession pass.

    Our prime minister seems not to recognize this tradition as he only recently interrupted the funeral procession of a fallen soldier so he and his entourage could pass.

    Very sorry for your loss. You sound like you have many beautiful memories of your grandfather to keep him living on in your heart and mind.

  134. I’ve lived in ID, LA, CA, NY, CO,WI and NM and it happens in all those places. In Louisiana though, people get out of their cars, remove their hat if they are wearing one, and stay there until the procession has passed.

  135. Yep – I have seen it a number of times, though I’m in the burbs. Not sure how this would work in the Big Cities I live near, though.

  136. In Hugo Colorado this still happens, everyone pulls over to let you pass. We don’t have stop lights so we don’t get to run any red lights. Everyone also brings good to your house and pitches in for the family get together afterwards. On a side note, a lot of funerals are held at the fairgrounds event building because our church’s are not big enough to hold the crowd.

  137. I’m from a small town in NC & it’s the same there. I live in florida now & have never seen anyone do it here.

  138. I think it’s par for the course in small towns, but I don’t think they do in larger cities. If they did, the traffic would be on the side of the road every 5 minutes ( you know…. because there are a lot more dead folks in bigger geographic areas…..? I’m very sorry about your grandfather, sweetie.

  139. It still happens occassionally in Houston, but the funeral homes organize it and you can opted out of the police escort.

  140. I’ve seen this mostly in the South. I’m originally from Texas, but never came across it in Iowa or Canada.

  141. I grew up in Central Illinois and have lived in St Louis since the early ’80s. While both areas have had the police escorted funeral processions where we all have our headlights on and get to go through stoplights, I don’t ever recall non-participants pulling over

  142. In Nevada, the only funeral processions I’ve seen (and pulled over for) are military and police funerals. Usually then there are a large number of military/police vehicles with lights flashing, so it’s literally impossible to miss.

  143. I’ve seen it, but not often. Just a bit south of Los Angeles. Police were involved, everyone else was stopped. There were windshield stickers identifying the mourners.

  144. Many years ago, I was visiting the Motown Museum in Detroit, which is next to a funeral home. As I was leaving, a funeral procession was also forming; someone plopped a funeral flag magnet on my car hood and I somehow got into the line of cars coming from the funeral… I couldn’t figure out a polite way to get out it and wound up driving several miles down Grand Boulevard to the cemetery, where I finally took a left. I have to say, it was kinda cool to not have to stop for lights- and it was touching how people did pull over. Plus- an interesting souvenir from my trip. I’ve seen this pulling over behavior around where I live here in southeastern CT, but it’s mostly done by people older than 50 or so. I’ve seen younger drivers actually cut INTO the funeral lines… I’m glad people knew this and did it for your grandfather. It’s important to pay respects to both those who have died and the people who loved and are mourning them.

  145. I remember it happening a lot in Memphis when I was little and my mom would always pull over but it seems like people either don’t know to or don’t want to anymore. I think it’s pretty sad, but also traffic always sucks there, too, so I can see how people are missing that it’s a procession.

  146. This would happen in my small hometown in New England, but does not happen where I live now near Seattle.

  147. Yes, it happens here, in the northeastern part of Maryland that is defined more by the name of the county it is part of than by the individual town it is. No matter the length of the line in the procession, they move through as a group.

  148. I grew up in Tennessee, and that was a thing there, but not in Toledo, Ohio or anywhere in California.

  149. I’m from Hammond, Indiana, which is right over the state line from Chicago. It was always the tradition to have a procession: lights on, FUNERAL sticker on the dash. I never, ever saw anyone cut through a procession, as it was a sacrilege spoken of only in hushed tones. I haven’t seen one once in the 20-some years I’ve lived in Colorado, though. There’s so much sprawl here that I think it’s rare to find an old community with traditions like that.

  150. The procession for my Grandmother was interrupted by a taxi driver with a turban, who pulled right in front of me, cutting me off! We knew this was a cultural faux pas and laughed that Nana had a sense of humor and might have something to do with it!! We ALL had “Funeral” flags on our front hoods to notify other drivers.

  151. In SO CAL, they aim for you, and cut in between flagged marked mourners in the slow lane on the freeway.
    I wish people understood respect.

  152. New England, specifically Massachusetts here – yes, we do this.
    I haven’t seen people not pull over, actually.

  153. When my mum passed in 2012, we has the police escort and people were (mostly) respectful. Had this jackhole in a van force himself in front of my sister’s car because he wanted to make a right and couldn’t wait. While passing through an intersection, a jerk in a muscle car ignored the procession and nearly T boned me. The cop there screamed at him as I recovered and drove on. I’m in Northern Virginia, so we’re not too north or south.

  154. I love in Knoxville ,TN and while not an enormous metropolis it’s also not a tiny town either. People have always done that here. Maybe its a Southern thing? I like it too. It’s respectful of both the deceased and their loved ones.

  155. I grew up in a small town in Louisiana and we did that. I now live in Baton Rouge and I think we do that here but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a funeral procession so I can’t swear to it.

  156. This happens where i live (cincinnati ohio)
    at each time the mourners have to leave the church and proceed to the cemetary. The last time i was amazed at the number of vehicles in the procession.

  157. Raised in Oklahoma, and yes, it happened all the time. I’ve lived in Wisconsin for 12 years an I don’t think I’ve ever seen it here.

  158. We do this in Cincinnati OH, I was amazed at the number of vehicles in the last procession I saw.

  159. That has happened in every town in every state I have ever lived in. It’s a sign of respect for the deceased and their family.

  160. Happens in small towns/cities in Michigan still. Kinda dangerous if you are clueless about the tradition and you try to go thru the green light. It’s a bit of an anachronism but in general, I don’t mind waiting since it’s the final gesture of respect that the community gives…

  161. I believe this is an option in most places but you have to pay to do it. I believe it’s paying for the police officers’ time to stop the traffic etc… I know this was an option that my husband’s family did not choose to do when his grandmother passed away. They are from IL. I’ve seen this happen in ID but when my grandmother passed last year my dad’s family didn’t do this for the procession either. I don’t know if it was an option for them, no one mentioned it to me, but I’ve seen it happen for funeral processions in town before.

  162. My hometown in Northern Illinois…yes.
    Haven’t noticed here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but the cemeteries are located more to the south of town and I’m on the north, so I might have missed this. Although one mortuary place has like a U-shaped driveway which I assume is for the cars to ‘gather’.

  163. Yep, and I’m in Chicago, so it’s not just a small town thing. On streets with more than one lane, other cars may not pull over, but you know not to interrupt the funeral procession.

  164. Yes, we do it in Ann Arbor where I live now, and in greater Cleveland where I grew up. In addition to lights on, you get a little flag with “funeral” on it to stick on your car.

  165. I’m from Manitoba Canada and yes, and not only do we turn on headlights in a funeral procession, but no other cars will pull out to pass the procession…but we’re Canadian and super polite like that.

  166. Live in PA. This is the normal where I live. Unfortunately during the procession for my mother’s death, all of us had to pull to the side of the road to let an ambulance through.

  167. Yes, it’s the same where we live. Caveat: we’re in a suburb of Washington DC, and if the procession drives onto a highway, some cars not in the procession may break into the line. Some of it is rudeness, no doubt, but it’s also that if on a high-speed or clogged highway, sometimes they don’t have choice, needing to get to an exit or miss it, for example.

  168. yes, this is common in BC, Canada where I live. Cars in the procession are given little flags for their windows to indicate they’re in the funeral party, so lights are generally held for drivers. I’ve only been to a couple of funerals but this was the case both times.

  169. Yes, I just saw a funeral procession two weeks ago in my Midwestern city. I lived in WI for a time, and it is illegal to break into/through a funeral procession. I was in one, and a plumbing van broke in – you bet I called the company when I got home. So disrespectful.

  170. Good lord….proof reading would help….

    We DO here and we also get flags on our cars if we are important enough

  171. Definitely yes in Saskatchewan, Canada. Only a rude jerk would try to go through a light when a funeral procession is going by.

  172. In my small farm town (Elsie, MI) not only do people pull over but farmers will stop their tractors in the field, stand up, take their hat off and bow their head as a procession goes by. Once it’s past they go right back to what they were doing. It’s a very cool thing to see and be a part of in a sad, humbling sort of way.

  173. When my grandpa died the city workers came out and stood lined up along the road with their heads bowed. He was not a city worker. He was a farmer. Cars pulled over and stopped. However, where I live no one stops for anything. In fact, people fall in line with the funeral procession to get through traffic faster.

  174. I live in Ontario, Canada near the city of Windsor (across the river from Detroit.) They do the funeral procession thing here just like you describe. It’s not just a southern thing or even just an American thing.

  175. Living in Scottsdale, AZ. I don’t see it often, but it does happen. I do most of my driving weekday mornings and early afternoons, so I don’t see much procession traffic. Most of our roads are two lane or more in each direction, so people just pull to the side, not necessarily off the road.

  176. I was only 20 when my father died. I’m almost 75 now, so that’ll tell you how lasting the memory was of people pulling aside to allow the cortege to pass. It was a smallish town in Georgia. It meant so much to me even though logically I knew they didn’t know us, had no idea who they were showing respect to. Except my ballet teacher. She blew me a kiss and I cried. It’s the little things.

  177. This is what happens in Iowa. It was about 20 miles from the funeral home to the cemetery. There was a police escort until we turned on the gravel road.

  178. Yes, I live in small rural town in east Texas. I interpret it as a sign of respect.

  179. Our city does this as well – although without the police. We have little flags that stick magnetically to the vehicles so everyone knows. People on the street pause as the procession goes by. During my dad’s funeral, a group of skateboarders all stopped, took off their hats and bowed their heads. I love the respect they showed!

  180. I kind of want to draw out the route they use for me now and take them all over town; past all of my life time of homes, schools, bars I frequented, work places, etc…maybe have a tour narrated by me playing in each car telling boring stories. That would piss off so many people and it would be just like me in life. And it would be even better if the cemetery ends up being a block from the funeral home but they all used up a tank of gas.

  181. Where I live in BC Canada, people will stop and wait for the cars in a funeral procession to pass by, even when it is driving through traffic lights and four-way stops. But the only times that I
    have seen police involved has been for funerals of fire fighters, police, etc. and public figures.

  182. I live in southwest Ohio and yes, this is an established custom. It is considered a sign of respect to pull to the side of the road and let the funeral procession pass. I find it very touching 🙂

  183. I’ve lived north and south and i remember this happening in all of my places of residence.

  184. When my father passed we were given the option of having police escorts for the funeral procession, and we said yes — we had two officers (one at the front, one at the back) who would hold traffic at intersections as we traveled through. This was in Tucson, some thirty (30!!!!!!!!!!) years ago now… I was in a bit of shock, so I’m lucky I remember that much. He was a vet, and I don’t know if that was why we got that option, or if they offer it to everyone.

  185. We have only lived here for 18 years and I have not seen many processions but the one I do recall most they drove from the funeral home down back streets away from most traffic and when they did arrive at the highway the police had traffic stopped for the procession to make its way onto the highway. Traffic was held at the next corner they needed to turn at so they didn’t have far to travel on the highway to the next back street route. I was always taught it just good manners to pull over when you see a procession approaching and wait for all their cars to pass. Usually you could tell because besides lights on the funeral homes had suction cup flags they stuck on the cars to signify it was part of the procession. I have also seen them led with a police unit front and back.

    My condolences to your family for your loss, it sounds like you will have a lot of great memories to look back on.

  186. Yes in most of the small rural places I’ve lived, no in the bigger places. I’ve lived in Idaho, Colorado, , New York and new england. It also seems like something more old school from my grandparents generation and leas common these days I think mostly because people don’t have traditional funerals and burials as much anymore (cremations and memorial services have been the norm for my family for a couple decades now.

  187. Upper Midwest and east coast experience: yes to being able to run red lights etc, but only occasionally does someone pull over to let the procession pass.

  188. Yea. Where I’m from originally we pull over out or respect and the funeral procession has cop escorts.

  189. We do all this here in Southern Minnesota. All the small towns I’ve lived in do it. But some place like Minneapolis, no idea.

  190. In NJ, PA and CO, it is the norm. It is even a common practice to drive the procession from the church past the person’s home, sometimes past their work before heading to the cemetery. Sadly, it seems many people now either don’t know or don’t care if they “butt in” the procession.

  191. I personally do pull over when I see a funeral procession, but not all people do. And sadly the police here cannot escort a funeral procession through traffic, but most of the funeral homes know ways around town to get you from the funeral home to the graveyard without having to stop and lose some of the family that has lost a loved one.

  192. We had my dad’s funeral in his small hometown, and everyone we passed from the funeral home to the cemetery—including dozens of semis—pulled over and stopped as we drove by. I had never experienced this before, so this seemingly small act of respect for my dad and compassion for the family made me cry.

  193. Yes, I grew up in Watertown, NY. We always did this. We are in the area of Fort Drum. One of the most deployed army bases in America.

  194. North Dakota does this also, but we leave the police out of it, and the funeral home leads the procession.

  195. I live in Connecticut, and this is done throughout the state – small towns and large cities. Not that I’ve encountered funeral processions in many states outside of Connecticut, but for the ones I have encountered, the same courtesy/respect was paid.

  196. God no, cars in Miami don’t even pull over for fire trucks, EMS, police, or ambulances running lights/sirens. Plus you have to rent police, motorcycle cops or security to get the funeral escort.

  197. God no, cars in Miami don’t even pull over for fire trucks, EMS, police, or ambulances running lights/sirens. Plus you have to rent police, motorcycle cops or security to get the funeral escort.

  198. I live in Louisville Kentucky. And the downtown parts that doesn’t happen so much, but all surrounding towns have to oblige by that. I’ve seen people pulled over and ticketed for not allowing a funeral to pass through.

  199. I think in bigger cities it depends on the size of the procession and if they get a police escort or not. I live near a cemetery in Denver and when they had a funeral for a police officer who was shot, they closed off the whole road for the big long procession that came through.

  200. We do this in western NC but not in central NC. I think it’s a small town thing of respect.

  201. The police assisted during my uncle’s funeral procession which was over an hour and through Atlanta, they stopped 4 lanes of traffic on a major highway!

  202. I live in Seattle and they do it here, with a motorcycle officer at the beginning and the end of the procession.

  203. I live in Indiana and this is very common even in some larger towns. When my grandpa died, his casket was carried on the back of a firetruck from the funeral home to the gravesite. It was very moving to see strangers pull over, some of which watched intently(a couple took pictures). I have some pictures from his funeral on my Facebook page(talk about morbid 😆)

  204. Yes, we still do it here. I live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama in a town with a population of 20 thousand or so.

  205. We still do it in Austin, which is not far from you. We also have police escorts. Going up I35 with a police escort is pretty freaking awesome, in spite of the circumstances. It’s the only time I’ve been able to go the speed limit on it 🙂 I’m not sure if that service is provided to just certain individuals who have earned it or certain individuals who have paid for it though.

  206. Yes, we do that here in my tiny hometown of Crowell, Texas. The Sheriff stands under the one blinking red light with cowboy hat over his heart as the funeral procession passes by.

  207. Happens all the time in Southwest VA. The police also led my grandma’s procession in NJ.

  208. Definitely the norm here, I’m in the northeast. If it is a small procession, maybe no police, but everyone but the self absorbed jerks will stop until the procession passes. It is the kind and respectful thing to do.

  209. People do not pull over because of a safety issue, it is a sign of respect for the deceased and mourners to pause in our day to acknowledge the event. Mostly in smaller towns because beyond a certain point it would become unmanageable or impossible to manage. Though a few years ago when a funeral was held for a highly respected policeman or sheriff’s deputy was held in Portland, the entire Interstate from the church to the graveyard across town came to a halt, voluntarily, to pay their respects, with people even getting out of their cars and bowing their heads or saluting.

  210. Where I grew up for high school in a small town in PA, yes, we all did this. I see the same thing up here in the small VT town I’m in now, replete with people not related to the family dropping what they’re doing and coming to the funeral because everyone knows everyone.

  211. Yes. I’m from a populated area in Ohio and we do it here. Since funerals are mostly sad, this post actually brought to mind a rather amusing story from my grandma’s funeral. We left church and my brother was driving a car full of family including my great aunt. Someone did not heed funeral procession protocol and cut my brother off. My aunt (who is like the sweetest ever) yelled, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Respect the dead!” which helped all of us immensely! Thoughts to your family during this time.

  212. We did this in my hometown in California. I still pull over as a matter of respect. I am hoping common decency is going to come back into fashion.

  213. Until recently, I lived next to Colma, a town that has more dead people than live. In our area, all the people of a funeral procession have signs in their windows in bright orange that say “funeral”, and they are given the right of way all the way to the graveyard, whether there’s a police escort or not. And if you don’t give way, you could be pulled over or just yelled at.

  214. No, I live outside of Philly and you’re lucky if they let the procession continue through a red light. Very sad and disrespectful, IMO.

  215. Small town here -but absolutely. Folks will get out of cars to show respect. Military or EMS = folks stand at attention. Very nice and respectful

  216. Here in Aus, there are legal requirements to let a mourners procession pass. Whilst we have to obey road rules (e.g. traffic lights), it is an expected sign of respect that you let the line of mourners travel together. Long standing tradition.

  217. Yes. I live in North Carolina and we always have pulled over to let the funeral procession pass and stay together. I have lived in several states and NC is home and we have always done this. I feel that it is a southern thing to show respect for the passing person and to the family that is trying to get to the burial site. It only takes five minutes to let the procession pass and it’s just a nice way to show respect.

  218. In my county in densely populated northern Virginia if you want a police escort for a funeral procession, the funeral director or next of kin has to fill out a form with the sheriff’s department. I think this is how it works everywhere. Problem is most people don’t know they can do it.

  219. Yes. Here in East Tennessee, this still happens. And you can write about funeral shit as long as you need to feel better. 💙

  220. I had forgotten about that tradition, but I could swear it happened in Bryan/College Station TX, which is relatively large; it’s not like you’d see a funeral procession and be like “oh right, Mrs. Tarnation’s funeral is today.”

  221. We do, but I’m from a small town in southern Oklahoma which is basically the same as your hometown.

  222. We did this in the suburbs of Chicago, where I grew up and did flower arrangements for funerals AND we do it in the rural upstate village where I live as an adult.

  223. I’m from Canada and our running lights are always on, but in the little town my family’s from, people pull over when they see a funeral procession (there aren’t any stoplights). When my grandma died, even a construction crew stopped working when we went by on our way to the cemetery. This doesn’t happen in the larger city I live in. I think it’s a small town thing.

  224. I live in a small town in Ontario Canada. This is totally a sign if respect. The most heart breaking time I saw it is when we met a procession of a fallen soldier on the Highway of Heros. The entire highway pulled the side of the road and respected their journey

  225. I grew up in Colorado and it was a thing. I live in CA now and have fortunately only been to one funeral here but the same thing happened.

  226. Throughout this region we have always done exactly what you describe. I was raised here, in South Texas and we stopped and stood until the last officer went by. Respect.

  227. They do it all over the greater St. Louis metro area, except the cars driving on the same road pulling over. They do use a LEO motorcycle escort to block intersections.

  228. This was definitely a thing where I grew up, a small town in northern Illinois. I think it’s a sign of respect, as well as way to make sure all the mourners travel together. I’ve since moved to a big city and don’t know whether or not the tradition continues in my hometown. I’d like to think that it does. Also- people offered their cars…so that the family members wouldn’t have to drive. Various friends would clean and polish their vehicles and the family of the deceased would be driven to the cemetary from the church and then back for the luncheon. That’s a thing, right?

  229. When I was young and went “back home” to a very small country town everyone pulled over to the shoulder. My parents told me it was a sign of respect for the family and the person that past. Today however, I very rarely see people pulling over to the shoulder. However, society has changed and become a ‘me’ society always in a rush.

  230. I think it is a small town thing. Rarely ever saw it when I lived in Denver. But in the small town I grew up in, it still happens. I’d also like to bring back a specified time of mourning. It doesnt have to be a whole year, maybe 2 months of staying out of work and 3 months of wearing black clothes so people know why you’re sad. Sending good thoughts your way.

  231. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Richmond, VA and both cities do this for funeral processions. It is such a respectful thing to do.

  232. We’re smack in the middle of the city of Atlanta and this absolutely still happens. I think it’s mostly southern, but it’s a lovely sign of respect no matter who the departed is!

  233. It happens in Ohio everywhere the roads allow. On a four lane, no. On a two lane, yes.

  234. Yes. We do it here in Medford Oregon and surrounding areas. I have seen familes walk from the church to the gravesite as well.

    Grief is a bastard. Be kind to yourself.

  235. We did this in NE Ohio and in TX. I don’t think I’ve even seen a funeral procession in the 8 years I’ve lived in MN, come to think of it. Strange.

  236. The police escort thing helps enforce the unbroken line of mourners and the wealthier/more famous the family is, the more likely they are to get the police escort. Larger towns that I have lived in do observe this tradition. Some people remain clueless.

  237. I grew up in a small town in northern British Columbia and that was the tradition then. I don’t know if they still do it. Now I live in one of Canada’s largest cities and I don’t see funeral processions very often, although I have seen driving with lights on in line after the hearse.

  238. I live in MA and grew up in CT. Most people do try to let the procession go by, but they don’t all have police escort so sometimes you don’t always realize what’s happening, unless the cars have flags on them. I know I’ve accidentally broken up a procession, and was terribly embarrassed when I realized it!

  239. I live 30 miles west of Philly, with my mom’s side of the family living in and around Philly – and at every funeral I’ve been to three is this sort of funeral procession with people pulling over and the procession as a whole driving the whole route without stopping for red lights.

  240. i’m in Utah and they do it in my town (88,000} and if you are a member of the local faith the society ladies are assigned a dish to make for a luncheon for those who traveled. you know, jello, ham, funeral potatoes, rolls,

  241. It happens very rarely here in central Houston – – – pretty sure there are way too many factors involved,
    When my aunt died in Brownfield, TX, though, her processional brought the entire town to a stop. It was very moving.

  242. At my grandmother’s funeral we had a funeral procession, we were escorted by cops, but no one pulled over. We didn’t have to stop at lights. This was in San Diego.

  243. Yes in our small town in Southwestern Ontario, Canada we do all of that. Also, when my mom’s funeral procession passed our home, we stopped for a moment to honour her and our family.

  244. I grew up in a tiny town in Eastern Oregon and now live in Tucson, AZ. We did this in both places. I’ve always thought it was a lovely show of respect. Even when it makes me 20 minutes late for work.

  245. They used to do this in Maryland when I was growing up, and I’ve also seen it in Pennsylvania. Whenever I saw the funeral procession, I’d think about important and loved a person was to have all those cars following the hearse. Most of the cars would have black ribbons or flowers tied to the antenna so you knew they were part of the procession.

  246. It happens in my town in NC and most cars you pass will turn on their headlights as a way to show respect for the procession and your loved one.

  247. Yes, it happens up north here in Duluth, MN. Lights on for all mourners so others let them continue through lights and stopsigns to get to the cemetery for the burial.

  248. This happens in Dallas, so I know it’s not just small towns! We also did it for my grandma’s funeral in South Dakota, do not just a southern thing.

  249. We do this in my hometown. I used to work at the Sheriff’s office as a dispatcher and we had the funeral home schedule officers to stop traffic for the funeral processions. I always thought it was a nice sign of respect for the dead and their loved ones.

  250. In my smaller city [population 50,000] in Indiana we do this. I remember asking my mom about it when I was a kid, so I knew about the tradition long before I participated in it.

  251. In my in-laws town in Tennessee, it’s No longer Legal to stop on the side of the road for a funeral. But everyone still does it out of respect. This year when my husband’s grandfather passed, even a guy on a riding lawnmower stopped!

  252. Baltimore MD suburbs checking in…it’s sort of a thing here, but falling out of fashion very quickly. My understanding is that the custom was a holdover from the days when out of town extended family would need to follow the locals from the funeral parlor to the cemetery, in order to avoid getting lost and missing the burial. In our modern age of GPS, the funeral procession isn’t respected nearly as much as it used to be, because there’s no reason for it anymore. That doesn’t stop them from trying to run stop signs and lights, but it’s illegal(no police escort here) and generally other traffic won’t tolerate it.

    My personal rule is I will respect a SHORT procession by not merging amongst them and tolerating them clipping the start of a red light. If 3-4 cars want to follow a hearse, go right ahead. But I was once stopped a few cars back at a green light as what had to be 20 cars ran the red. That’s too many.

  253. Very common throughout all of New England’s small towns and big cities.
    Even Boston Drivers respect the funeral procession. One or two may join it for a while, but I’ve never seen anyone ever cut off or interrupt the motorcade.

  254. All of my life they have done this in Chicago; the funeral home gives all of the cars involved little orange stickers for their windshields (and there used to be flags for the antennas also, but those have evolved off of cars, so…not so much any more). Now it seems like other drivers are getting too impatient; they don’t pull over and I’ve seen drivers trying to cross the funeral procession, which is kind of like trying to cross a freakin’ parade. Insane. Is one last ounce of respect too much to ask? It would seem so.
    Actually though, the parade thought is a good one- a funeral procession being that person’s very own “Goodbye Parade”.
    Oh, I am SO calling it that from now on. A Goodbye Parade.
    (But I hope I won’t have cause to, as it’s been a bleak 3 years: 7 deaths of friends and family- sigh.)

    I want to tell you that your whole family has my sincere condolences; I am just really happy (not happy happy, but you know what I mean) that things happened as they did- if death has to happen, surrounded by love is the best way.

  255. Yes, this happened in my small hometown in Wisconsin. There were about 7500 people who lived there, so not that many stoplights to run. But it was definitely a thing there.

  256. Oh, and Chicago doesn’t have a police escort unless the deceased was a bigwig of some kind. But in Driver’s Ed they told us that is the only reason you get to go through a red light.

  257. When my Dad died in Texas this summer, the funeral home said a police escort would cost a lot because the grave was 30 miles away. We bought US flags for all the cars (Dad was a WWII vet) and provided our own escort.

  258. It’s common practice in rural Northern Ohio. You will also frequently see men remove their hats as the funeral cortège passes.

  259. That’s how we did it where I grew up in rural Tennessee, and in Memphis and I see it in Atlanta too.

  260. Yes. I’m in a pretty big city, but we are in the South. I went to court for a traffic violation and a man was there that tried to outrun the procession so that he wouldn’t have to pull over, he was heavily shamed by all of the other offenders and the judge—and some of those offenders were in jail being Skyped in!

  261. That is standard funeral procession decorum, as far as I know. I’m from SoCal, so not a small town at all, and every funeral I’ve ever been too has been done this way.

    For my husband’s grandparents’ funerals — held in Los Angeles — there were police officer escorts who stopped traffic to let the processional through the traffic lights to the cemetery. We all had “funeral” stickers on our windshields, too.

    I’ve only been to a couple of funerals in the south for family members — in Virginia and North Carolina — and it was the same way.

    Is this not normal everywhere?

  262. We do that here in NJ and the Philly area, but police escorts aren’t the norm, unless it’s a funeral for a police officer. I lived in a town with a large Catholic cemetery just outside of Philly, and the entire Main Street would be shut down for hours. Also, a little off topic, but when my father died, it was complicated. We didn’t have a funeral (or really want to have one), but my sister and I did have to drive behind the hearse that picked-up his body to sign over papers and pay for cremation. It was just my car following a hearse on a quiet early morning, and a complete stranger on the street stopped to let us by and made the sign of the cross. That was one of the kindest acts from a stranger I’ve ever experienced.

  263. In Denmark you definetly let a funeral procession pass, also in big cities. I don’t think the undertaker (in the car in front) would run a red light, but if it changes mid-procession everyone will cross anyway. And it’s just rude to cut across or try to overtake cars in a procession.

  264. Every small town I’ve ever been to or lived in, in Tennessee, absolutely does this. And men better take off their hats.

  265. Yes, in Seattle, with a population of almost 1 million. There is a cemetery in my neighborhood so I see and experience it.

  266. (Philly, PA, USA) it’s considered bad manners here to break a procession (which on smaller streets does include letting them run redlights if you’re the opposing traffic) and if it’s a larger road you might shift lanes to let them through, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone pull over?

  267. Yes, we do it here in California too, funeral processions have the legal right away here as well, and the vehicles need to be marked with “funeral” (usually a magnet in bright orange or the like). That being said, in our cities, even I have not realized right away that a long line of cars WAS an actual funeral procession and not just usual traffic . Many of the funerals I’ve been to thru the years have been arranged so the service and burial were at the same place or very close to each other, then the reception is elsewhere. This make logistics in our uber crowded areas much simpler. Or the services are space out time wise. It seems to me the bigger the city, the less processions you see, except like #20 said, if its for a police officer or high ranking official, then street closure ensue. There are companies & police departments that will escort, but you need a permit & its actually considered dangerous for the police, or retired police officers, involved. Respect isn’t dead, sometimes you just have to look for it 😉

  268. Yes in Metro Detroit. Funeral flags on cars (they ask before the service if you will be going to the cemetery, then put a flag on and have you park so that you will exit with the procession). Hearse first, then family, then everyone else. Last car has 4 flags to let everyone know it’s the last. Traffic doesn’t pull off to the side, but they (the funeral cars) do stay together, “running” red lights, etc. If the hearse hits a red light first (is it is amber in approach, then red), they will stop and not go through the intersection, breaking the flow of cross-traffic. They have their own lane, but other traffic doesn’t stop or pull over (they used to, but not in my 43 year old memory, and I’m guessing it was before 6 lane roads). Unless it was a dignitary or member of law enforcement, no cops needed – protocol/tradition is just heeded. You don’t break a procession if you aren’t in it. You just don’t. It’s like when the barriers go down for a train crossing – you just wait patiently, calling the boss to let them know that you are “stuck” behind a funeral prossession and will be a few minutes late. The funeral home removes the flags during cemetery service (it’s like magic! You get out of your car and it’s there, get back in and it’s gone! The flags are magnetic) There are exceptions. There was a funeral I went to where the cemetery/interment was 25 miles down the interstate. We just met there. The ones that make me sad are hearse, family, two other cars, and that’s all. I hate poorly attended funerals – they are just so sad.

  269. It used to happen in hawaii on oahu thru the 70s but then we became too big and modern 😢😉

  270. I have never heard of this respectful tradition. I think it is wonderful. Thank you for sharing and I am sorry for your loss. Warmly Aloise

  271. I’ve lived in two small towns where the funeral homes have mourners turn on their turning lights for funeral processions. Where I live now, People pull over for funeral processions. They just don’t pull over for ambulances or police cars.

  272. We do it here in the Northeast, sort of. I haven’t seen anyone pull over but you def try not to break into the procession. Side note, I was once in a procession that managed to merge with another and I wound up at the wrong burial. Whoops. Met up with my peeps at the house after.

  273. Yes in the small towns where I lived in Texas. Not really in the big city where I live now in Virginia. Though I’m sure it happens in the rural areas outside the city.

  274. Yes, and I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is a pretty big city. But it only happens if you arrange for the police escort. When my uncle passed away, his funeral procession was the longest one I have ever been a part of or even seen. There were close to 100 vehicles. People going the opposite direction must not have been showing sufficient respect, so one driver parked his car at an angle across the entire lane. And according to family at the back of the procession, he stayed there until the end of the line. That is not typical here; just the red lights, etc.

  275. I’m in North Eastern PA and we do this. I remember, vaguely, being told that it was very inconsiderate. And being warned about the severity of bad luck I’d earn from crossing paths with the Caravan of Death. 😂 Super low-key life lessons.

  276. This also happens in parts of New England. My friend and I waited at least ten minutes yesterday while a huge procession exited a church parking lot in Rhode Island in front of us.

  277. Back in the sixties here in Austin the light thing would occur, but now is logistically not possible. All the funerals I attended in North East, PA over that 25 years with my husband’s family got D) All the above. I think it really is about respect for the deceased.
    The only funeral where I’ve attended graveside services in Texas in many years is my mother’s four years ago and I can’t recall the ride from the funeral home to the cemetery. Huh. I have no clue what was provided, but I recall prices for it all.
    No memory of the ride….Grief is so fucking weird.

  278. Yes this happens up in Iowa. So the funeral procession doesn’t get separated and no one misses any of the burial services

  279. I don’t think it has much to do with the size of the town and more to do with the traditions of the area. If you watch the last few minutes of American Sniper it shows real footage of the funeral procession from Dallas to Austin on IH 35. Headlights on, cars pulled over, people standing quietly in respect from one town to the next.

  280. Seen it all my life – here in the south. In Atlanta, you pay a fee for the police escort, and they will block each cross-street to allow the funeral procession to pass uninterrupted.

  281. Recently, I was biking to work, listening to music, and went a different route. I was just about to cut across a road and saw a funeral procession coming about 2 blocks away and I stopped , got off my bike and waited so I could send healing prayful thoughts to each vehicle as it passed by me. The song in my earbuds was “Save You” by Kelly Clarkson. Not sure if it impacted anyone in the cars, but it made a difference to me.

  282. I am not from a small southern town but my Grandma and Great Grandma were both buried in Manchester, Tennessee and this is exactly what the drive from the funeral home was like. It is definitely not like where I live.

  283. I’ve seen it happen in small towns all over the US. But it’s just not possible in the large cities. I passed a procession on Highway 280 in San Jose just a few days ago — 4-5 lanes of 65 mph traffic. The procession was traveling about 40 mph in the slow lane with 3 motorcycle police escorting. Each time a car in the next lane slowed (I assume as a sign of respect), the police waved them to proceed past them.

  284. Yes, it was this way (and probably still is) in the small town in Michigan where I grew up. I live in a big city now and I have not seen it happen here like that.

  285. We do this in Waco, Texas. Sometimes it’s police on motorcycles that stop traffic at all the cross streets, sometimes police cars. People usually pull over if they notice.

  286. We do this in Waco, Texas. Sometimes it’s police on motorcycles that stop traffic at all the cross streets, sometimes police cars. People usually pull over if they notice.

  287. It’s a common courtesy that has fallen by the wayside across most of the US.

    Lolly

    PariahSickKid no longer on Twitterverse. Negativity was causing depression lies to triple. I will continue to stay subscribed to the blog, because it lifts me.

  288. In Tasmania (Australia), no. Probably because we tend to have the place for the ceremony in or next to the cemetery.

    But my great-uncle Morris did run into the back of another car between the funeral and burial of Great Uncle Sydney. As far as I’ve since been informed, his eyesight was going and mostly he just aimed where his wife – Great Aunty Sylvie – told him to. Normally she was pretty quick on the commands.

  289. In Tasmania (Australia), no. Probably because we tend to have the place for the ceremony in or next to the cemetery.

    But my great-uncle Morris did run into the back of another car between the funeral and burial of Great Uncle Sydney. As far as I’ve since been informed, his eyesight was going and mostly he just aimed where his wife – Great Aunty Sylvie – told him to. Normally she was pretty quick on the commands.

  290. It depends where you live, I think. Some people don’t seem to recognize a procession until they’re IN it! I recall my Grandfather’s funeral (I was 10) in London, Ontario, where not only did cars pull over, but people walking stopped, and removed their hats. It’s all about Respect. ❤️

  291. Here in Michigan, people on the street stop and bow their heads as the procession passes. Men take off their hats. It’s very touching.

  292. They do it in Boston. I always figured it was not only out of respect but also so out of town mourners wouldn’t get lost.

  293. Sure does here in Alabama……….a sweet tradition. I get a good feeling showing respect to people who are going through a hard time in their lives.

  294. We used to do this in Connecticut, but it’s not taught to kids anymore so even if you do pull over, there are always a few yahoos who cut in the procession or worse honk in anger. Manners need to make a comeback. It makes me sad that people are in such a “hurry” they can’t take a minute to show some respect.

  295. Yes, where I grew up in rural north Florida that was the custom as a show of respect. In the city where I live now, not so much.