Is Direct Cremation here to stay…or just a fad?

Why direct cremation?

At DFS Memorials, we deal with people every day who are searching for a low-cost funeral option. Many are searching specifically for cremation, already aware that it is by far their most affordable option.

Why direct cremation?

Direct Cremation” is the term used to describe a basic cremation that does not involve any kind of service.  It requires the minimal services of a funeral director, so the costs are reduced.  Very little preparation is done before the deceased is cremated, and the cremation is usually carried out almost immediately, depending on state cremation laws. (Some states do require a 48-hour waiting period)

Opting for a direct cremation does not mean you are choosing any less dignified death-care option for your loved one.  It can actually give you far more control over the memorialization of your loved one. 

Once the direct cremation has been conducted and the cremated remains returned, you can arrange your own personalized memorial service or ash scattering.  And yet your ‘professional fees’ for handing the disposition will amount to less than $1,000 in most areas of the U.S.

Some funeral businesses are adapting to meet this demand for direct cremation but not all.  The funeral industry seems to largely resist this change, preferring to hold steadfast to the notion that we should pay their profession for the services rendered in memorializing our loved ones.  Do they think people are incapable of doing this for themselves?

A blog by industry experts that advises the funeral profession discussed how talking about our death care would “decrease direct cremations”.  The focus seemed to be on how surviving family were opting for direct cremation as the “more affordable, or the less-complicated funeral arrangement”. 

It seems that the writer of the blog thinks that because people choose direct cremation, they are not performing any ritual or ‘celebration of life.’  We think this is an example of how the funeral industry has still not grasped how culture is changing.  We believe that families can choose direct cremation, save money on funeral expenses, and arrange their own befitting celebration of life as, when, and how they choose.  Our society is all about choices.

DFS Memorials will help connect you with your nearest low-cost cremation provider. We believe that direct cremation is NOT a fad but an elective choice that many are now making. That choice can be governed simply by cost—we now have 46.2 million Americans living below the poverty line*—or simply because we have come to realize that we do not have to spend so excessively on death care.

*This is the highest number since 1993 & has continued to rise year-on-year

Sara Marsden

I have been researching and writing about the death care industry for the last fifteen years. End of life services and experiences are something most of us choose not to reflect upon until we are suddenly faced with dealing with it. I have been contributing comprehensive and independent resources for families that explain how the funeral industry operates, and the laws that govern funeral practices. Sara writes for US Funerals Online and DFS Memorials LLC, as well as contributing to other forums and publications for the death care industry. I have a BA in Cultural Studies. This helps my analysis of cultural death care rituals, alongside a career background in Business Management. The death care industry is undergoing an epoch of change and this fascinates me.

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