It’s often cited that direct cremation is a low-cost alternative to traditional cremations or burials, but while this may have been the case a decade ago, the picture today is much bigger.
For many people, the idea of mourning and drawn out funeral services just aren’t how they want to be remembered. They want, as do the families, any send off to be a celebration of their life.
And direct cremation plays into this.
With a direct cremation, the deceased’s body is moved from where it’s being kept prior to cremation and taken straight to the crematorium.
The coffin is still taken along the aisle of the crematorium’s chapel but no ceremony takes place and afterwards, in the same manner as a more traditional ceremony, the ashes are then collected, ready for the family to scatter or memorialise in the way they want.
It’s a misconception that no one can attend a direct cremation, and many crematoria do allow a small number of the immediate family to be present as the coffin passes through the aisle. There just won’t be a ceremony, with the usual eulogies and words from a celebrant.
If You Want a Direct Cremation…
David Bowie famously chose direct cremation prior to his death in 2016 and his ashes were later scattered in Bali. Perhaps, it was thanks to this that direct cremation became a little more well known.
But it can be assumed that David Bowie didn’t choose direct cremation to save money.
It was a personal choice.
And it’s the same for many people today.
For those, the idea of their family paying thousands for a funeral service when that money could be spent on, say, a family weekend away to celebrate their life makes much more sense.
After all, what better way to celebrate life than with a celebration?
But Direct Cremation Can Be an Emotive Issue
A loved one may say they don’t want a traditional funeral. But being able to properly say goodbye is seen as an important part of the grieving process and family members might feel they need to go through that process.
And remember, the memorial service and any permanent memorial elements don’t change. Grieving families can have a remembrance service when they scatter the ashes and still erect a place to pay their respects.
Having a simple cremation enables your loved ones to celebrate your life weeks or even months down the line. With a direct cremation, any remembrance ceremony can be even more personalised. For example, distant relatives have more time to arrange to get to the ceremony.
Direct cremation also negates any issues with seeing the coffin and the associated emotion.
You Still Celebrate
So you’ll still celebrate the life of a loved one, just not at the same time as the cremation, which is the traditional way.
For example, ways of celebrating might include:
- Planting a new tree or plant
- Creating a new tradition – it might be an annual day out where the family all get together
- A memorial bench or plaque
What’s Included in a Direct Cremation Plan
Each funeral director will have their own plan, but would likely include:
- Collection of the deceased from the place of death, such as hospital or nursing home
- Transport to the crematorium
- The cremation fees
- A basic coffin
Some might include looking after the body for up to 14 days before the cremation takes place.
What you won’t get is the flexibility to choose when the cremation takes place. There may also be some extra transportation charges depending on where the body is being collected from.
A funeral is personal and the reasons for choosing a direct cremation aren’t what they used to be.
It’s not the case that these funerals are cost-saving alternatives to a typical funeral but instead they celebrate life in a different way and allow a person to choose how they memorialise their loved one and in a time frame that suits them.