New York State Funeral Directors Association

It can be assumed that very few funeral directors today can recall the trials and tribulations that came along with home removals by horse-drawn sleigh.

In our not so distant past, this task was a reality for funeral directors of the 1800s and come winter, the horse drawn funeral coach was transformed into a funeral sleigh with the addition of your standard, run of the mill funeral coach skis.

The funeral director would receive the first call and head to the barn to prepare his removal stallions.Heather A. Rauch

Today, we might see a funeral director hurriedly washing the hearse they meant to wash earlier in the day, now pre-removal, post-midnight, giving it the elbow grease, whereas funeral directors past would be frantically brushing their horses and spit-shining their sleigh.

It makes me think for a moment before I start to whine about the cold trot across the parking lot from the funeral home to the garage to retrieve the state of the art hearse from the heated garage.

With the upcoming weather forecast we have been dealt in beautiful New York State, it brings up the idea of too much snow.

What happens if we have too much snow on the day of a funeral?

My employer recalls a day, years ago when there was a State of Emergency declared on our town.

Unfortunately, family members were unable to get to the funeral home, the clergy members couldn’t get to the church and the grave digger was unable to locate the grave.

The funeral was cancelled and rescheduled for another date.

If you can multi-task like a funeral director, everything will work out just fine.

It is a known fact that many cemeteries are forced to close during the winter months for a variety of reasons.

I have heard things along the lines of; “We just don’t have anyone to plow” or “When the snow gets too deep, heavy equipment operators can’t see the monuments.”

In these cases, what can we do? Thankfully, residents of New York State are often aware of that possibility and although re-living their loved ones death in the Spring is not always what families would prefer, they are accepting.