The COVID-19 pandemic caused everything to come to a screeching halt. The world is almost at a standstill. World health authorities discouraged gatherings to help curb the spread of the virus. Celebrations are either banned or allowed with restrictions.

While funerals are not prohibited completely, they cannot take place the traditional way. Funeral service providers like have seen a surge of interest in direct cremation in the United Kingdom in the past year. It is believed to navigate the 2-metre rule of physical distancing and the other restrictions, as advised by Public Health England. That is not surprising because grieving families have limited options nowadays. If at all, they can hold a funeral service for a deceased loved one, only a few mourners can be present. The rules vary across the country as well.

Convenient and practical: Why direct cremation gets attention

Since it could be pretty complicated to force a traditional funeral service as people knew it, direct cremation is considered a convenient and practical alternative, at least for the moment. It is convenient because there will be no need to explain to other people why they can’t see the deceased for the last time and pay their respects. It is practical because it costs a little over a thousand pounds. The family of the deceased will save a lot of money on top of all the headaches that come with keeping up with the existing regulations.

Direct cremation is not like the usual cremation, which accounts for about three-quarters of funerals in the UK. Funeral directors complete it, usually unattended, and the bereaved family can get the ashes through hand delivery. There will be no coffin, no hearse, no flowers, no hymns. Afterwards, the family can decide on a personal send-off or a memorial to celebrate the life of the deceased. But that would be all up to them.

David Bowie and direct cremation

It was singer-songwriter David Bowie who wrote direct cremations on the map when he died in 2016 due to liver cancer. He was cremated in secret and with no family member or friend present, as it was his wish not to have a funeral service. Later on, they scattered his ashes in Bali, Indonesia.

Direct cremation only accounted for about 5% of the total cremations in the UK, before Bowie’s passing and the COVID-19 pandemic. It grew massively last year and might continue to increase in the years to come, as sales of prepaid funeral plans also soared.

Handle funeral issues while alive

We are definitely in a ‘new world’. People are now more open to talk about concepts that were once considered taboo. Even completely healthy individuals are coming forward to discuss their future funeral arrangements and to pay for their funeral at today’s prices, not because they are expecting death but because they want their passing to inflict less hassle on the people that they leave behind.

Certainly, people realise the brevity of life. Preparing for death is more than just a spiritual thing. It’s a full circle.

Author's Bio: 

I have been writing blogs and articles for nearly nine years. Apart from personal experiences, I also take interest in sharing my knowledge on varied topics such as fashion, healthcare, travel, and digital marketing.