The impact of a direct cremation on the grieving process

The choice to have a direct cremation or burial is made by a small number of people in the UK each year. A direct cremation is where a body is taken directly to the crematoria and cremated with no funeral service or mourners present. Indeed the family will not see the person who has died again once they are collected by the funeral director from the place of death. The cremated remains are either returned to the next of kin or scattered.

The Royal London Funeral Cost Index (19 October 2016) highlighted direct cremation as an “emerging” choice for 5% of people, according to their research and cited it as a “coping strategy consumers are employing in order to keep funeral costs down.”

The NAFD disagrees. Although separating the act of disposing of a body from a ceremony to say farewell and grieve the person that has died can help to control costs, where this is an important factor, those who do choose this option rarely do so for financial reasons but more in relation to personal beliefs and choice.

Says Chief Executive Officer of the NAFD, and former nurse, Mandie Lavin: “Funerals are acknowledged as an important step in the grief journey as we learn to come to terms with life without someone in it. Bereavement experts have shown that avoiding this, intentionally or otherwise, can potentially store up issues further down the line.

“The NAFD would always advise anyone planning their funeral, in whatever form it may take, to talk to those closest to them and to a funeral director. Whilst a funeral
can be extremely distressing, it can also be an important part of the grieving process for those left behind and if there is to be no funeral service it may be important
to consider another way for people to come together to deal with their loss instead.”