In these modern times people want their loved ones to enjoy a celebration of life, not a mourning of death. So more people than ever are choosing a prepaid direct cremation plan.
When he died of liver cancer in January 2016 David Bowie was cremated in New York with no service, friends or family. His ashes were scattered in Bali.
And although he wasn’t the first person to have a direct cremation, David Bowie did make this type of cremation more popular.
What is a Direct Cremation?
With a direct cremation the coffin is still taken along the aisle of the crematorium’s chapel to the cremator. But no ceremony takes place before the body is committed. There may be one or two family members present as the coffin makes its journey.
Once the cremation has taken place the ashes can be collected and memorialised in the way of the family’s choosing.
Although still a dignified send off, a direct cremation is less expensive than other funeral plans. But often it’s not the cost as to why someone chooses a direct cremation. It’s usually because the person who has died wants their family to spend the money in a more memorable way.
Choosing a simple cremation gives mourners the chance to celebrate the life of their loved one months or even years down the line, possibly when they’re in a stronger emotional position and when they’ve had time to plan the celebration without the stress of grief.
The deceased might want the family to celebrate by having a weekend away together in the summer or to spend the money in some other way that’s more of a something-to-remember than the funeral service alone.
Changing Face of Funeral Arrangements
Funeral services are hugely personal but that they are always sombre events is not the case.
An advantage of direct cremation is that the remembrance service can be planned for a later date and be more personalised. It gives relatives who live further away time to get to the ceremony.
And dealing with the body, even in a coffin, can be one of the more distressing elements of a traditional funeral.
Having a direct cremation does allow for a celebration, there’s just no service at the cremation.
So there’s much more flexibility around when and how you celebrate. It’s up to you and the wishes of your loved one. But even if there’s no service you can still memorialise your loved one in a way that’s right for you.
For example if you hold a celebration later you might like to do one of the following
- Create a memorial photo book or scrapbook
- Purchase a memorial bench or plaque
- Plant a tree
- Create a new tradition such as an annual day out with all the family
If You Don’t Want a Funeral Service
There are many funeral plans and it can be a challenge if a loved one decided not to have the funeral service you expected. For some mourners the act of attending a funeral service is part of the grieving process.
A loved one may have included the provision of direct cremation in their will. But it can be difficult for some people to accept. And being able to properly say goodbye is seen as an important part of the grieving process.
Ultimately, it’s a personal decision as to whether the family respects the deceased’s wishes.