In this guide, we take a look at several of the most common myths surrounding direct cremation. We also provide answers to these myths, and lay to rest any misconceptions about direct cremation you may have.
Myth: A direct cremation is disrespectful
Fact: When you care about someone, you want the best for them, no matter if you are planning for their birth or final disposition. With the cost of living skyrocketing these days, it’s comforting to know that a direct cremation is an affordable option. Because it’s less expensive than a traditional funeral, some people may regard direct cremation as less respectful, impersonal and callous. However, even though family don’t attend a direct cremation, the deceased is treated with enormous respect throughout the process. In some cultures cremation is actually the norm, the act honouring the deceased’s final wishes.
Myth: You must hold a memorial service before a cremation or burial
Fact: Typically, the deceased is present at a traditional funeral service which means the service is often arranged quite quickly following their passing. This can lead to added stress and expenses.
But this isn’t always the case. You are not required to hold a funeral or memorial service before a cremation or burial takes place. Instead, the service can be held following a person’s final disposition. A direct cremation allows the family to celebrate the life of the person they’ve lost at a time that suits them, without the pressure and expense of hosting an elaborate funeral.
Myth: A funeral director must plan a direct cremation
Fact: You don’t have to hire a funeral director when a loved one passes away. If you feel comfortable to do so, you can handle the process yourself. You might ask different family members or friends to take on different tasks. For example, you could ask one person to take care of the paperwork, another to dress the body, and someone else to plan the funeral, memorial service, or vigil.
Most families hire a funeral director as the process of organising a direct cremation, particularly for the first time, can be an added stress. However it’s not mandatory.
At Willed, we take care of everything involved in a direct cremation from the transport of your loved one to returning their ashes. By separating the direct cremation from the farewell service, we aim to make it easier and more affordable for you to arrange the perfect send off for your loved one.
Myth: The casket must be at the funeral or memorial
Fact: As mentioned before, families have the choice to hold the funeral or memorial after cremation or burial. Many people faced this decision during the peak of the pandemic. At that time, only a few people could gather to say their final goodbyes in person. Then, once restrictions were eased, loved ones gathered together to hold a memorial service.
When a service is held following a direct cremation, instead of displaying the casket at the ceremony, it’s common for families to set up a memory table. A memory table usually includes the deceased’s photo and some personal effects, paying tribute to their memory. Sometimes the ashes will also be placed in a decorative urn on the table.
Myth: Prepaid cremation services are expensive
Fact: Many people do not consider prepaying for their cremation because they assume it will be expensive. However with the rising cost of living, the price of cremation is only going to increase too. By prepaying your funeral, you are able to lock in today’s price, saving your family money in the future.
At Willed we offer a range of payment plans, making the payments small and affordable over a number of years. The sooner you lock in your cremation, the better off your hip pocket will be.
Myth: Only poor people use direct cremation
Fact: While it is true that direct cremations are less expensive than traditional funerals, they are no less respectful than traditional burials and there are many other benefits too. More individuals are choosing direct cremation, including people who can afford a lavish send-off. Famous people like Prince, John Lennon, David Bowie, and Albert Einstein chose direct cremation over the conventional casket and pallbearer funeral.
Myth: You must keep cremated ashes in an urn or cemetery niche
Fact: There are numerous things that can be dones with human ashes. You can sprinkle them, divide them among family members, bury them, plant a tree, or make an heirloom. Cremated ashes will not hurt you and are safe to handle or store.
Myth: You must hold funeral services in a church or chapel
Fact: You won’t find many families rooted in the traditional religions anymore. If this is your case, you may not want to hold a homegoing ceremony at a place of worship. Get away from church funerals and pay your respects elsewhere. If the deceased person wasn’t a church-goer or affiliated with a particular religion, then a river, ocean, park, or garden send off might be more appropriate. You can hire a celebrant to officiate the service. However, a family member or friend can serve as the honorary director and save the family the expense of hiring a professional.
Myth: You can’t control what happens in a direct cremation
Fact: A direct cremation gives you and your family much greater freedom and time to plan a personalised farewell. While alive, you can prepare your final wishes and note them in your Will. This directive will provide your loved ones with insight into a delicate assignment and prevents them from being in the dark.
A prepaid cremation is a terrific way to leave your loved ones specific instructions about how you want to say goodbye. If you wish to release caged pigeons or doves as they sprinkle your ashes in your favourite spot, now is the time to say that. If you want a gourmet dinner after the service, let them know. The send-off is just as important as the birth. Make your final wishes heard!
Myth: When you prepaying your cremation, your money is at risk
Fact: When you prepay your cremation with Willed, your money is secure. That’s because it’s held in trust by Foresters Financial, a 170 year old, APRA-approved Friendly Society. In the unlikely event that you outlive Willed, your next of kin will still have access to your money after you pass.
There are plenty of myths surrounding direct cremation, but we hope we have managed to dispel them with this guide. Of course, if you still have concerns around things you might have heard about direct cremation, please feel free to call our team of dedicated funeral arrangers.
If you’d like to get your cremation sorted by prepaying it today, call us on 1300 945 533.