What is Direct Cremation?
Direct cremations are cremations without the funeral service, so there are no attendees and there’s no ceremony performed beforehand. They are one of the cheapest options offered by funeral directors and they are becoming increasingly popular as a contemporary, no-fuss send-off when you pass away that is both simple and respectful. If anyone is at the cremation then it doesn’t count as a direct cremation.
Why Choose a Direct Cremation?
Direct cremations are free from the elements that some people feel are unnecessary as part of a funeral, such as pallbearers and processions. But they don’t cut corners – you or your loved one will still receive the same high standard of care and attention that they would with a traditional ceremony. With a direct cremation, there’s no need for a funeral director as it’s organised by a friend or relative of the deceased. Many people will choose to hold a memorial or a celebration of life event afterwards to commemorate the person who has passed on.
There are a lot of different things that people consider good and bad about direct cremation. As with most things, there are pros and cons and many of these depend on the person.
If a direct cremation is requested then it is obviously the right thing to do. It may be something you wish to request to save money or to allow for a different kind of ceremony afterwards.
In some cases there simply isn’t any money available for a traditional funeral so a direct cremation is the only option. It should not be considered a bad option though, as after the cremation it costs almost nothing to take the ashes and have a small gathering or just spread them somewhere lovely whilst thinking about the person’s life and celebrating it.
No Next of Kin or Close Friends
Sadly in some cases it is less of a choice and more of a necessity. Where there are no next of kin or no known friends a direct cremetion is the only option.
Freedom of Choice
For a growing number of people direct cremation is seen as a way of getting the body ready for a more suitable send off. A funeral in a traditional sense can be seen as quite restricted in what can be done. But after a direct cremation the ashes are there to be spread and celebrated in many different ways. A direct cremation can be just the first part of the memorial process and one people do not see is worth spending lots on. Perhaps a family may wish to spend the money bringing loved ones from far and wide to scatter the ashes rather than paying for a traditional funeral.
The Benefits of a Direct Cremation
In addition to being a simpler affair, direct cremations are also much cheaper than a traditional funeral. You or your loved one receives a professional and dignified cremation service without the procession, ceremonies, or funeral services that come with a standard funeral, so you can say farewell in your own way without needing to conform to tradition.
Interestingly John Lennon was directly cremated and so was David Bowie and Anita Brookner. More and more people are seeing the traditional funeral as just one of a number of options. A direct cremation can be a very simple affair that avoids much of the fuss that many of us try to avoid in life. It doesn’t mean there is no memorial but it can do. For some, it is just a simple way of safely dealing with their remains while allowing everyone who is left behind to mourn in their own way.
How Does a Direct Cremation Work?
There’s no formal service with a direct cremation, so it’s usually unattended although it can include a gathering of mourners if it’s a family-led funeral. The price of a direct cremation typically varies depending on how many people are attending.
The process of organising this type of funeral includes a number of aspects. First of all you need a doctor to complete all the required paperwork. Then you need to organise collecting the deceased from the hospital and arranging their preparation and care until the cremation. The next thing to plan is transporting them to the crematorium and scattering their ashes wherever they may have agreed or you think is suitable afterwards. If your loved one requested a simple, quiet send-off when they pass away, a direct cremation can be a fitting way to honour their wishes.