Is Direct Cremation The Right Choice For Your Loved One?

If a loved one of yours recently passed and you are in charge of making the funeral arrangements, you have some big decisions to make in the coming days. If the deceased wished to be cremated, then one option you can consider is called direct cremation. Here's a closer look at what this option entails and the benefits it offers.

What is direct cremation?

Direct cremation is when the body is cremated very soon after death without first being embalmed. You will not have a viewing or wake -- at least not with the body present. This is in contrast to indirect cremation in which the body is first preserved and presented and then later cremated.

What happens to the ashes after direct cremation?

As with any cremation service, the ashes are returned to the family member of the deceased. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt to have them returned to you in a simple box. Then, you can do as you wish with the ashes, from scattering them in the deceased's favorite area to burying them in the backyard.

What are the advantages of direct cremation?

Direct cremation is usually the least expensive way to approach funeral arrangements. This is because the body does not have to be prepared or laid out, which reduces the amount of labor the funeral home has to do. You do not have to buy an expensive casket or urn, either, which greatly reduces costs since these products can be pricey.

How do you handle the funeral, then?

Usually, when someone is directly cremated, the family hosts a funeral service but without the body actually present. Many families actually choose this option so that they can put off the funeral and instead have a memorial service later on. This way, family members who live far away can make plans to travel for the service.

Are there any downfalls to direct cremation?

Some people feel that they need to see their loved one's body in order to properly say goodbye. This may not be an option with direct cremation -- at least not in the sense of a traditional wake. You may wish to check with other close family members before affirming with the funeral home that you wish to have a direct cremation. This way, nobody will feel left out of the decision.

To learn more about direct cremation and similar options, speak to your local funeral director.