Whilst a direct cremation might not suit everyone, the fact is that there is now a recognised alternative to a traditional funeral.
The growing popularity of personalised farewells to loved ones who have passed away is contributing to a soar in demand for direct cremations.
A growing number of UK families are moving away from the traditional funeral service and same-day wake, instead choosing to remember their loved one by planning a more fitting celebration of their life – whether through a separate memorial service, thanksgiving service, a meal or even a party.
With this in mind, more and more people planning a funeral are instead opting for a simple, no-frills cremation – with no service or mourners, limousines or flowers - allowing for more time, flexibility and money to be invested in dedicated send-off more appropriate to the individual.
The increase in demand for direct cremations is reflected in the latest industry figures which show a ten-fold rise in the UK, from 0.3 per cent in 2015 to 3.5 percent in 2016.
The rise is also mirrored at Pure Cremation, the UK's only dedicated provider of direct cremations which recorded an increase of more than 200 per cent in 2016, and has forecast a further 300 per cent increase this year.
Catherine Powell, Pure Cremation's Customer Experience Director, said: "We are finding a whole host of reasons why people are choosing direct cremations above funerals.
"For some it is the desire for a no-frills, no-fuss cremation, others are looking for a non-religious send-off, while others would rather see their families save the money that would have been spent on a funeral, instead spending it in some other way that celebrates their life.
"Very few of our customers are choosing direct cremations over funerals because of cost, although this too is an advantage. Some people who plan their own cremations with our help admit they feel a great weight has been lifted from their shoulders as they've taken care of their affairs in a way which won't leave their families in debt."
Catherine said many customers had approached Pure Cremation to explore the option of direct cremation, after being unable to learn anything from a local funeral director.
She said: "Sometimes people come to us as they believe there must be a viable alternative to a funeral service, although they're not always exactly sure what that alternative is.
"We have heard of cases where funeral directors have told the bereaved that a direct cremation is not possible or indeed legal – a combination of ignorance and not wanting to lose your business which could be worth thousands of pounds."
Catherine urged people planning their own funerals, and families planning the funeral of their loved ones, to explore all the options before making what will be the very final decision. "Whilst a direct cremation might not suit everyone, the fact is that there is now a recognised alternative to a traditional funeral which can be a more appropriate solution for all concerned," she continued.