HEADING DOWNTOWN from out where the Hacienda sits, just before a hard curve to the right that will take you over the sewer creek and up to the Big Plaza a few blocks on, you will pass the funeral home.
Two, I’m told, side by side, but you can’t tell the difference, so I’ll treat it as one. It’s the most popular place in town to check out.
On passing, you often see wakes in there, frequently spilling out onto the sidewalk. The other day I witnessed one where they had put up a canvas roof to cover the overflow of mourners from sun or rain.
There’s another, more modern-looking, funeral home out on the ring road. It’s just been there about five years, I suppose, and I’ve never seen anything going on there. The first, by the hard curve, has been in business far longer, even before I arrived here 15 years back.
Though I have driven by it a million times and walked by maybe 10,000, I’ve never stepped inside. It appears to be just a middling room and nothing more. There are display coffins along the wall.
A big black hearse is usually parked outside.
I doubt running a funeral parlor here requires much training, perhaps none at all. I don’t know if the business is regulated by the government. I tend to doubt it. That’s one of the beauties of Mexico.
I doubt much training is required because embalming is not common, which is why funerals occur quite quickly.
Probably about all a mortician has to do is pick up the dearly departed, drop him or her in a casket, perhaps wipe off some blood or whatnot, spray some Raid, light incense and candles, and open the door.
The wake, an overnight affair, follows, and then the coffin is driven slowly to the cemetery with the mourners walking behind.
I’ve witnessed many of these processions while enjoying a nice espresso on the Big Plaza because the coffee shop sits on the shortest route between the Basilica up the hill and one of the two cemeteries.
Most are silent jaunts, but now and then there will be a mariachi band when someone’s being sent off with a little pizzazz. I like that.
I shot this photo yesterday. The truck was parked just around the hard curve. I was driving by, so I braked, got out and snapped.
I added the photo to Eyes of the Moon, but decided to share it here with you folks too because I’m a sharing sort of fellow.