David Bowie opted for a direct cremation

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It was headline news when the story broke that David Bowie had already been cremated and that he had specifically chosen a direct cremation.

A direct cremation or what we call a ‘Pure Cremation’ is the simplest type of funeral. At Pure Cremation, we collect the body, carry out the cremation, (usually with no one present), and return the ashes afterwards.

  • There’s no ceremony, no funeral service, and no fuss
    Everything is arranged very simply and carried out with dignity and we offer this service throughout England and Wales.
  • The biggest benefit a direct cremation offers is time
    Time for the family to organise a tribute or celebration of life without rushing and at a time and location that suits them.

David Bowie made a conscious choice that made perfect sense, not allowing fans and media to focus on his body and his death; instead he encouraged family and friends to celebrate his life and relationships several months later, in a place special to him.

With a direct cremation…

  • People have plenty of advance notice
  • The location will be more appropriate and personal than a crematorium chapel
  • You’ll be able to allow lots of people to take part, to give personal tributes, without worrying about time constraints (or the next funeral wating at the door!)

At Pure Cremation we’ve found that the vast majority of our clients want as little fuss as possible for the cremation of the body, but almost every family choose to have some kind of memorial occasion where they share memories, laughter and sadness. Whether that occasion is a small family meal, a service in church or a huge party, they choose to get together to remember.

We’ll always have David Bowie’s music, and when it comes to our own family and friends there’ll always be a special moment shared, a fragrance or food that take us back to time spent together. These little gems can be expressed and celebrated in wonderful ways, in a relaxed setting, where everyone can contribute something, however small.

Bowie’s unexpected legacy

It seems that even after his death David Bowie’s deliberate and authentic choices are having national and international effects that will change society for the better.

The vast media output about this icon’s life and achievements has consistently demonstrated that David Bowie thoughtfully navigated his own path and never worried about whether anyone else would choose to follow… and here lies the paradox, this unselfconscious approach is magnetic.

Here at Pure Cremation we’ve spent many hours discussing how to spread the word that a cremation-only funeral is a legal, respectful and liberating option so that families understand the full range of services available. But death and funerals are taboo subjects, so combine a conservative profession with wilful public ignorance and it’s no surprise that traditional funeral directors will continue to expertly deliver “the usual”.

Through the publicity surrounding his funeral David Bowie is yet again shining a light onto a subject people find difficult while encouraging us to embrace the possibilities. He has empowered fans and the wider public to think about funerals in a completely new way and to pluck up the courage to ask “what do I really want for my own farewell?”