Here we dispel the common myths around direct cremation and answer five of the biggest misconceptions about a direct cremation.
1. A Direct Cremation is for Poor People
While it is true that a direct cremation can cost as little as 30% of a traditional funeral, direct cremations offer a choice. The direct cremation option is being chosen by an increasing number of people for whom the cost of a funeral is not a major consideration. David Bowie chose a direct cremation.
2. A direct cremation is selfish because it deprives friends and family of the opportunity to mourn
This is perhaps the most pervasive myth about direct cremation. For some, a quiet, unaccompanied committal is absolutely appropriate, but for others it will be essential to gather friends and family together to share memories – and you can still do this. For example, David Bowie’s memorial took place two months after this death, to ensure all his friends could attend.
Far from depriving friends and family of the opportunity to mourn, a direct cremation frees them to say their ‘goodbyes’ at a time, place and in a manner of their choosing, meaning they are free to celebrate the life of the person they loved in their own way, taking all the time they need to get this just right.
3. A direct cremation gives me no control over my farewell
This is not the case, and in fact, the opposite is true
- A direct cremation simply separates the farewell from the cremation of the body
- This gives you and your family much greater freedom to plan a truly personal farewell.
- Each of our clients creates a Record of Wishes which is an ideal way to leave detailed instructions about the style of send-off that expresses your unique set of values, beliefs and relationships
4. A direct cremation is for people no-one cares about
Every family wants to give a loved one a fitting send-off, so with the publicity about direct cremations mainly emphasising the low cost, it is easy to see why some people might regard a direct cremation as “uncaring”. However, nothing is further from the truth. A direct cremation is respectful both of the deceased’s wishes and of the family because they are liberated to celebrate their loved one’s life with a more personalised remembrance at a later date – all without the cost, fuss and stress of a traditional funeral.
5. Religious believers wouldn’t choose a direct cremation
Most people of faith will choose a traditional funeral, but mainly because they too are following social norms. A growing number of devout Christians are choosing direct cremation followed by an uplifting celebration of the promise of a better life after this one. In one case, friends of the deceased made a special request for scripture to be recited while the coffin passed into the crematorium but the focus was on the service to give thanks for their friend’s life and faith.
A direct cremation may not be for everyone but it is growing in popularity as people gain a better understanding that it gives a new level of freedom to choose just how to say “goodbye”.