Do I Need a Funeral Home for Cremation?
When you are overwhelmed by grief and want to say goodbye to your loved one in a way that is convenient, inexpensive, and respectful, cremation is one of the best options out there. By avoiding many of the more traditional aspects of a funeral (the casket and burial, embalming, choosing a headstone, holding a viewing), you not only save money, but time and energy as well. This is especially true if you are planning to hold a private memorial service or ash-scattering ceremony at a later date.
To streamline this process even more, you might hope to avoid working with a funeral home altogether. After all, since you already know that you want your loved one to be cremated, what need is there for an intermediary?
If you want to reduce the amount of time and energy you will spend on funeral plans, direct cremation might be your best option. In this process, the body is cremated almost immediately after death, which means you can opt out of things like embalming, long-term body storage, and other preservation efforts and expenses.
You also can avoid choosing a casket, as the body of your loved one will be cremated in a simple container. (How the ashes are transported afterward is entirely up to you—you can choose a basic box or a more ornate urn, depending on your preferences.) There is no visitation, viewing, wake, or memorial service associated with direct cremation, which means you are able to approach your final goodbyes at your own pace and under your own terms.
If you opt for direct cremation, you may be able to avoid working with a funeral home. However, you will need to find a crematory that can handle things like body transportation and issuing a death certificate, as these are necessary steps in laying a loved one to rest. Not all crematories in your area will supply these services, so if you cannot find one that is willing (or able) to accommodate your needs, you will need to go through a funeral home first.
Costs and Considerations
Direct cremation is less expensive than a traditional cremation or funeral. A direct cremation through a crematory is even lower in cost than if you opt to do it through a funeral home. However, there are benefits to working with a funeral home that you will want to take into consideration.
- Funeral home staff is trained in working with grieving families.
- All paperwork that goes through a funeral home tends to be easier on the family, since it is part of a streamlined process.
- A funeral home can provide small touches and flourishes that are lacking at a crematory.
- You can opt to hold a memorial service at a funeral home even with direct cremation.
- You have the choice of embalming and other body preparations in advance of the cremation.
- A funeral home provides a place for family to gather and ask questions you might be too overwhelmed to tackle on your own.
Remember, too, that funeral homes often provide payment plans that break down the costs of the cremation. This additional service can allow you more flexibility in how you plan the funeral without causing too much of a financial burden all at once.