How do I mark a Death Nowadays?

You don’t need me to tell you that there are a lot of deaths at the present time, and I’m truly sorry if you are affected. If you are, you are probably aware that your funeral choices are now limited.

Direct Cremation

Depending on where you go, you may be offered a direct cremation. That means the body is cremated with no celebrant or even mourner present. The next-of-kin is simply offered the ashes afterwards. That permits minimal closure and is not satisfactory for most people.

‘Conventional’ Services

The fact that one crematorium only offers direct cremation doesn’t prevent you from having a more conventional service, if you are prepared to travel to another, as there’s no consistency across crematoria! Of course, the service attendees are limited to 10, so it may mean picking and choosing your guests. Also, respecting social distancing, you may be sitting apart from each other, so this is also far from an ideal scenario.

One solution

A number of people are considering a Memorial Service (or Celebration of Life) once lockdown is over. This has many advantages: you can hold it where you wish (it doesn’t have to be at the crematorium or chapel), you can invite whom you choose, you can serve up a spread on the premises and, most importantly, you can have the ceremony that you feel is most appropriate. It can be compered by anybody (including a celebrant, if you so desire) and a celebrant can give you ideas what can go into the ceremony and who could take part.

Another solution

It may suit you to go to the crematorium garden (by arrangement) or elsewhere for a scattering of ashes ceremony, which a celebrant can lead for you.