To have or NOT to Have. A funeral, that is the question?

What Happens when someone doesn’t want a funeral service?

This situation frequently occurs, there are many and varied reasons why a person doesn’t want a funeral as such.

  • The person doesn’t want the family to waste any money on them once that have passed
  • The person doesn’t want someone talking about them if they never knew him/her in real life
  • The person doesn’t want people to take time off work
  • The family don’t have the money to pay for a full funeral
  • Religious beliefs
  • The person sees no benefit in having people turn up to a service when they couldn’t come to see them while they were alive
  • I don’t want a funeral because I am a private person and don’t want to cause a fuss

These are just a few of the reasons that there is no funeral service for a person once that have passed.

There are positives and negatives in the decision to have or not to have a funeral.

Most un-attended funerals are cremations, nevertheless, occasionally it will be a burial.

The steps for cremation:

  • The deceased is transferred from where they pass into our care.
  • An independent doctor attends the deceased to issue a cremation permit, stating that the body does not contain a Pacemaker, Fibulator or other object that will explode during the cremation process.
  • The deceased is placed in a basic coffin
  • The coffin and deceased are transported to the crematorium where the cremation takes place.
  • Several days later the cremated remains are collected from the crematorium.
  • A letter with the death certificate is posted to the person who arranged the funeral requesting that the ashes are collected.
  • The ashes sometimes are collected by the family.
  • If the ashes are not collected. After a period of six months the funeral company or crematorium have the legal right to dispose of them.

The steps for burial:

  • The deceased is transferred from where they pass into our care.
  • The grave is booked
  • The body is placed in a basic coffin
  • The coffin and deceased are transported to the cemetery and placed in the grave which is then covered in.

Now you know what happens.

The Positive side of this:

  • The person’s body was handled in the way that the deceased person wanted.
  • The family did not have to outlay for a service and everything that goes with it.
  • No one had to take time off work.

The negative side of this:

  • The family and friends have nothing to mark the ending of a life of a much-loved person.
  • It is almost as though the person never existed.
  • No one can say a final good bye
  • Because there was no form of ceremony some people have trouble coming to terms with the actual death.
  • Family and friends are left out in space as to what actually happened to the body
  • Frequently there is no place to visit and contemplate the life that was.

How to turn a negative into a positive:

Academy Funerals are very aware of the psychological effect that not having a funeral service can have on families and friends.  Consequently, we always…..

  • Suggest the family members come along to our well-appointed premises to view and or dress their loved one.
  • Spend some time with their loved one, just to say good bye
  • Bring flowers or gifts to leave with their loved one.
  • Take photographs of their loved one.
  • Have silver finger print jewellery necklaces made as keep sakes
  • Request hair samples be takes and given to family members to keep
  • Have a formal funeral service with the ashes at a later date. (We can recommend celebrants or clergy)
  • Have a formal service when the ashes are being scattered or placed.

This way even if the person insisted that there be no funeral service held with their body.  You have still complied with their wishes while at the same time providing much needed closure for family and friends.