Direct Cremation… Thats the new way of doing things! (It isn’t)

Lots of people (especially new and inexperienced funeral directors) will like to try and make you believe this is a new idea. They are mistaken.
Direct Cremations have been around since the very first cremation was carried out in March 1885. Mrs Pickersgill was cremated at Woking Crematorium. She was not only the first person to be cremated, but also the first to have a direct cremation. Fast forward sixty years and even funeral directors themselves were opting for direct cremations, with Mr Frederick Paine, a funeral director from South-West London, being cremated without a service or attendees.

Why do people choose this alternative?

Don’t believe that people only choose this option because it’s a cheaper alternative to a traditional funeral. Although this can be the case, this can be a preferable choice for a number of reasons:

  • This may be the wishes of the deceased, by informing family members or even taking out a funeral plan.
  • There are no close family members, or they live far away, or even on the other side of the world!
  • There is to be a memorial service after the cremation, where the life of the deceased will be celebrated without the coffin.

The Consequences

What does all of this mean?

Well, its all well and good me giving a history lesson on cremation. And also the inadequacy of some funeral directors. But does this mode of funeral service work?


Not knowing the day, time or even location, (with some funeral directors), of the cremation can lead to further stress. Not having the chance for a final goodbye. Or a service where you can give your tribute and listen to others, can lead to further challenges grieving.

Lots of funeral directors will do what you want, without thinking about how it will effect you in the future. They won’t tell you these truths as they are. They will just be competing with each other over who “can get the funeral”. Don’t fall for one of these companies, and unfortunately, there are many out there.

Just ensure that before you make that final decision, you have been given time, choice and confidence that this is the right decision for you and the deceased. And maybe read some of the almost countless tombs published on bereavement and grieving. None of these will recommend a direct cremation. It is simply not a good way to go through the process of grieving. I still get lots of people who tell me they were “not allowed” to attend the funeral of their favourite Aunt or even a Parent! Because someone else thought they knew what was best for them, and they are still upset or even angry years later. Direct Cremation, without a Memorial Service following fairly soon isn’t good for your heart, or your mind. OK funerals hurt. Yes it’s true. But a non funeral, or a sweep it under the carpet experience isn’t going to be painless either. Don’t take it from me, ask a professional who has been dealing with grief and the bereaved for a few decades. Oh, thats me then!