Compared to traditional earth burial, more people are opting for cremation each year. In the UK, over 75% of the population choose cremation for a variety of personal and financial reasons. The functionality of cremation makes it an attractive option when planning a death disposition. The idea of a direct cremation may be new to some, but it’s increasing in popularity each year. There are many benefits to opting for a direct cremation, which will be explored in this article.
So, what is a direct cremation, and why are people choosing it over traditional methods?
What is a direct cremation?
A direct cremation is when a cremation occurs independently, without a memorial ceremony. The whole process is taken care of by the direct cremation service, like sustainability-driven Neo Cremations, from the collection of the body to the cremation itself. It all takes place without any family required to attend. After the cremation is complete, the ashes and a Certificate of Cremation are given to the next of kin.
With direct cremations, you are not required to combine both the cremation itself and a memorial ceremony at the same time. The cremation will take place first, and the family can decide whether they want to hold a ceremony or service after the fact, in their own time.
What are the benefits of a direct cremation?
Compared to the traditional burial or cremation process, direct cremation offers many benefits that people may find attractive when choosing their method of disposition. Here are a few of the reasons why direct cremation may be right for you.
The cost of a traditional funeral and burial in the UK can run well over £4500. The high price is due to the value of the casket, plot of land, and the funeral service itself. Even cremation, coupled with a memorial ceremony, costs approximately £4000. For this reason, many are looking for a more cost-effective option, and direct cremation is the answer. Direct cremation costs around £1300 and is both an accessible and respectable option. Your family can always choose to hold a memorial ceremony after the fact.
Gives the family time
The time immediately following a death is emotionally overwhelming for family and friends. Typically, a memorial service or funeral will take place very soon after the death takes place and can be extremely stressful for the family. Not only are emotions running high, but the family is required to make many decisions regarding the ceremony and socialise with large groups of people. It’s not always the ideal scenario, and a direct cremation gives everyone time to process the situation. They can still choose to hold a memorial ceremony but can do so in their own time. There is no rush to make decisions, and there’s the opportunity to have a service that is more personal and what you would have wanted.
Awareness around environmental issues is on the rise, and people are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint. Traditional earth burials take up quite a bit of space, and with cemeteries only having so many plots, they are running out of space to put them. The more that people choose earth burials, the more land that will have to be dedicated to it. That means potentially ruining animal habits, limiting space for agriculture, and encroaching on protected green space.
Another reason traditional burial may not be the best option for the environment is the embalming process. Formaldehyde is the most popular fluid for embalming. It’s a dangerous substance and is known to be carcinogenic. The main worry associated with the use of formaldehyde is that it may leach through caskets and into the ground, ending up in the water system.
Cremation uses no harmful chemicals, nor does it take up any physical land space. For those reasons, it’s a more environmentally friendly option.
No cemetery is required
A considerable benefit of a direct cremation is that you do not require a cemetery. While some may like to place the ashes in a mausoleum or columbarium, many choose to scatter the ashes somewhere personal or keep the urn in their home. A cemetery is a permanent resting place for those who prefer a traditional earth burial. If the family must move away, they may no longer be able to visit the grave, which can be extremely difficult for many people.
With cremation, the family can take the urn with them if they do move to another location.
A direct cremation offers a lot of flexibility for the family by allowing them to process and cope with the loss in a way that works for them. Families and friends don’t necessarily all live within close proximity, and therefore it can be hard to get everyone together for a traditional ceremony. It is especially hard as conventional funerals and burials happen so quickly after death with no time for preparation. With a direct cremation, a memorial can take place at a time that makes sense for everyone and even done virtually.
Another benefit of a direct cremation is the opportunity to split the ashes between family members, as necessary. You can have multiple urns for each of your children, so they all have a piece of you. Alternatively, you can have your ashes scattered in a few different places, turned into jewellery, or even buried under a baby tree. The options are endless. The flexibility to design the process in a way that works for everyone makes direct cremation a good choice.
Choosing direct cremation is an inexpensive, flexible, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burial methods. It provides time for your family and friends to plan out a ceremony in their own time and make it personal to you. There is no rush for preparations and plans, reducing stress for everyone during an emotional time. Whether you want your ashes scattered into the ocean or buried beneath a tree, the options are endless and totally up to you. It’s easy to see the reasons direct cremation is rising in popularity and will continue to do so in the coming years.