What you need to know about direct cremation 

What is direct cremation?

Direct cremation is when a body is sent straight to a crematorium from the place of death without a funeral service or ceremony. Favoured by both David Bowie and John Lennon, a direct cremation really does mean that: no standing room allowed. In any case, if at a later date you’ve got a living room going free and a few ham sandwiches to hand then something resembling a ceremony can be put on. Rock ‘n’ roll.

If you haven’t considered direct cremation when thinking about planning your funeral, then here’s what you need to know about the most simple funeral option out there.

There’s no option to view the body

A direct cremation takes place quickly after someone dies, as there is no option to view or spend any time with the body beforehand. This mean’s there’s no real need for a funeral director to be involved in a direct cremation, and many crematoriums offer the service themselves.

A coffin isn’t required

An elaborate coffin isn’t necessary. For a direct cremation, it’s normal to use only a very simple coffin, such as a cardboard one. If you opt for a simple cremation then you won’t be made to purchase a coffin. In any case, it’s going to be cremated along with you.

Very few mourners

So, what does direct cremation include? While the cremation will usually take place outside of popular hours, a few close family members can ask to watch the cremation process. Other than that, anything more celebratory would make it just your standard funeral.

Why do some people choose direct cremation?

If you think direct cremation sounds unemotional, then here’s some of the reasons why simple funerals are gaining popularity

It’s cheap

A direct cremation is the cheapest funeral option currently out there. A simple funeral does away with funeral director’s fees, coffin fees, as well as any chapel or funeral service venue fees. Maintenance costs, too, are kept down as there’s no need for any embalming, dressing and cleaning of a body.

It’s personal 

Due to the swift nature of direct cremation, once the necessary part is out of the way focus can be placed on organising a personal and fitting memorial. A truly unique celebration can be put on, without time constraints and last orders.

It’s less fuss

The process usually takes an hour and a half, and the ashes will need to be collected at a convenient time. There’s no need to spend hours agonising over flower choices or the correct tie length. Without rituals and ceremony, a direct cremation makes sense to people who don’t go in for elaborate displays.

How much does a direct cremation cost?

A direct cremation will usually start from £1,000. This includes third party costs, such as all necessary forms or certificates.

Extra costs are usually optional – if the ashes need to be delivered, there will be a fee. There’s also a cost if the body needs to be collected out of working hours or from a residential home, as with a standard cremation.

The simplicity of a direct cremation takes some getting used to

Services and ceremonies have long been basic elements in the funeral process. The opportunity to get to see someone who’s died for the last time, too, is important to most people. Yet, a direct cremation is much cheaper than a standard one and can seem logical to those who’d rather focus on celebrating in a way that reflects their personal values. Rather than a horse drawn carriage, it may be that a living room ‘do and an 80s Anthems compilation CD is all that’s needed.

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