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What is direct cremation?

There is a lot of confusion around the term direct cremation. Many people believe this to be a new innovation when, in fact, direct cremation has existed from the earliest days of a modern form of cremation being introduced to the UK in the early 20th century.


There are a number of reasons for the recent increase in the visibility of the option and, sadly, the main driver was the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. During that period of time, a great many of us missed the opportunity to gather with family and friends to celebrate the life of someone no longer with us.


There may also be financial reasons for choosing an unattended funeral, particularly at a time when many are struggling with the cost of living.


However, we are still coming to understand the effects of that loss of family, friends and community support during the pandemic through a number of bereavement studies underway. What we do know from the families we serve is that the part of a funeral service most missed was the same for all families across the world, irrespective of culture or creed - those precious hours together before we say goodbye.


Another reason we’re perhaps more aware of direct cremations is the increase in venture capital companies investing in high profile providers. It feels as if every second TV advert is by another new start-up offering no frills direct cremations.


Families don’t necessarily save money with such providers and it’s often the case that their loved one will be transported across the country to a remote crematorium. This makes it incredibly difficult to spend time with the deceased or arrange a service, if you did change your mind.


Sadly, there seems to be a misunderstanding that the choice of a direct cremation is the beginning and the end of a funeral, this is not the case.


When pre-planning or arranging an immediate funeral, you will have a number of decisions to make, the first of which will be, burial or cremation? Within those two choices there are a number of options. For cremation, you can opt to have an attended service at a crematorium or an unattended cremation, sometimes referred to as a ‘direct cremation’.


While many of the high-profile funeral providers limit their service to the collection of the deceased and return of ashes, family-owned funeral directors extend the same options and quality of service as you would expect with a traditional cremation service or burial.


If you wish to have a ceremony, viewing, a particular choice of coffin or any other element of a traditional funeral, all you have to do is let us know. An unattended cremation is simply an option for the final part of the funeral.


To find out more about options for planning a funeral please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.


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