Most of us are familiar with the typical process that follows when someone dies; the death must be registered and then a funeral is arranged. But, despite this often seeming like the only option, more and more of us are opting to do things differently and direct cremation makes that possible.
A direct cremation is a simple, no-frills option without the fuss, cost or proscribed formula of a traditional send-off. It also allows family and friends time to grieve before arranging a public or private event.
Conventional funerals filled with black-clad mourners are beginning to seem a little outdated. For many, the idea of family members weeping in the aisles feels too sombre, instead electing for an alternative celebration of life where everyone can enjoy the good memories. Others want to keep the cost as low as possible, or perhaps there are personal reasons at play. There are a whole host of reasons that someone might choose not to have a funeral.
In the UK, funeral preferences are changing. In fact, the funeral plan portal Over50choices has found that 10% of cremations (or 46,000) in 2017 were direct, and they expect that number to rise to 20% by 2023. But who are the people choosing to skip a standard funeral?
The first thing to note here is that there is no specific type of person that chooses not to have a funeral. While in the past this may have been associated with those avoiding religious ceremonies, it’s clear that this more modern approach is popular with those from all walks of life.
For Booker Prize winning author Anita Brookner, a traditional send-off was not on the cards. Her death notice in the Times simply stated: “At Anita’s request there will be no funeral.” In fact, global icon David Bowie also chose a direct cremation, telling family and friends he wanted to “go without any fuss”, instead letting them focus on their shared memories of his life at a memorial gathering in Bali, held a few months later.
The Direct Cremation Approach
So, is a direct cremation right for you? If the format and cost of a traditional funeral doesn’t appeal, then the answer is yes. And remember, going down this route doesn’t mean that your friends and family are deprived of the chance to say goodbye. Actually, this frees them up to organise a more personal celebration of your life at a time and place of their choosing – whether that’s a big gathering on a significant day or a small and private event at a special location.
Customer Experience Director Catherine Powell puts it perfectly, saying “it allows the later remembrance to be more personalised and planned. Often there’s too little time for key relatives and friends to get to a funeral, instead a direct cremation gives you all the time you want to prepare the perfect send-off while taking care of the practicalities without delay. It offers much more flexibility.”
Making a decision about any funeral can feel a bit daunting, so it’s best to discuss your options with an expert. We are trusted by thousands of families each year to guide them through the process and provide a dignified, fuss-free cremation. We even offer a pre-paid plan that guarantees that your family will not have to pay a penny more for the service that you have arranged.
For more information about the services we offer, or direct cremations generally, see our frequently asked questions, or get in touch if you would like to discuss your plans with us.