The idea of a direct cremation has started to become a choice people consider for their own funerals. Celebrities such as David Bowie chose this as the option for them and the idea has started to grow with this level of exposure. But what is it, how should it be done and what are the effects on those left?
What is it?
Direct cremation is the option to have a cremation without any form of service or attendance. It simply means that a Funeral Director brings the deceased into their care, arranges a time for the cremation with the crematorium and then the coffin is transported there and received by the crematorium with no family or mourners able to be present. The funeral director of course will guide the family through the legal and practical procedures such as registering the death but there are no other practical arrangements that need to take place and the family have the choice on what happens to the ashes after the cremation has taken place.
How should it be done?
This new option has driven new businesses to enter the funeral profession with just this service as the option. Many of these new businesses run from call centres, do not have local offices or facilities to care for the deceased, require full payment before making any final arrangements, most will not meet in person to guide families, will often use a van or similar to deliver the coffin to a crematorium often many miles away and make families wait over one month before returning the ashes to them. Many also advertise a price from…. this often means there could be extras to pay that are not shown or expected.
We believe this isn’t how any type of funeral should be done. We provide the same level of support as to any traditional funeral. We will:
- Collect the deceased and give them care and dignity at our head office
- Meet with family to discuss their choices, guide through all processes and discuss all future arrangements
- Provide a suitable simple coffin for cremation
- Take the coffin to a local crematorium (Poole or Bournemouth) in our silver jaguar hearse with a funeral director and staff to convey the coffin into the chapel
- Collect the ashes as soon as they are available if required, and hold for families to make a choice on their final resting place
- Give a full inclusive price for the whole service including the necessary disbursement fees
What does this mean for those left?
Direct cremations can take place before or after another type of service such as church or before a memorial service but for some there is nothing else. Even though this may have been the deceased’s wishes it should be considered what it means to their family and friends.
For many, funerals are not something they look forward to attending, but are seen as both a public and personal way of saying a final goodbye to someone special. Funerals are also a way to remember the life lived, the personality and uniqueness of that individual, to come together with others to share these special moments and support each other at this time of loss. When a direct cremation takes place for those left there can be a feeling of emptiness as they have not had chance for that final goodbye or to create a service that will provide positive and personal memories for the future. Add to this the lack of service a non-specialist funeral director offers then the whole process can be quite empty and impersonal.
For anyone considering a direct cremation, firstly consider the wishes of those close to you and how they will feel and second, make sure the funeral process is done by a company that will support them through your choices and provide the care and dignity they would wish you to receive.
For more information on our direct cremation option or any type of funeral please visit www.oharafunerals.co.uk