Views and opinions
Views from the National Association of Funeral Directors on topics connected with the funeral profession and end of life debate.
The choice to have a direct cremation or burial is made by a small number of people in the UK each year. A direct cremation is where a body is taken directly to the crematoria and cremated with no funeral service or mourners present. Indeed the family will not see the person who has died again once they are collected by the funeral director from the place of death. The cremated remains are either returned to the next of kin or scattered.
Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for bereaved people when there is such a focus on loved ones coming together to celebrate and look forward to a new year.
The Cruse Bereavement Care helpline will be open every day from Monday 21st December through to New Year’s Day. All the opening hours can be found on the Cruse website www.cruse.org.uk/telephone-support/christmas
A BBC survey this week has talked about the rise in costs of “pauper’s funerals”. There is a huge sense of frustration within the funeral profession when we hear this term. Whilst it is perhaps technically correct – denoting a person without any financial means to pay for a funeral – as a word it has negative connotations and the NAFD feels it is disrespectful to the person who has died.
To a funeral director, a person who has a public health funeral (the correct term) deserves and is always treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, no matter who is covering the costs of the funeral and how simple the arrangements might be.
Choosing a funeral director is not just about cost, although that is clearly an important consideration.
Choosing a funeral director must firstly be about making sure you’re being properly and professionally supported at one of the most distressing times in your life. With a lot of legal requirements to meet and forms to fill in, it is a difficult process to navigate, especially when you are grieving. An important consideration is making sure you choose a funeral firm that is willing to be inspected and abide by a strict Code of Practice and which participates in an independent redress scheme such as the Funeral Arbitration Service.