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Modern Alternative Funerals
Contemporary Alternatives To Traditional Funerals
The slightly awkward question of what to do with your body when it’s no longer needed by you, usually leads people down the traditional route – church/cemetery burial, or cremation, via the local undertakers.
You may have lived a splendid life and are thinking of what will happen after you kick the bucket and bid the world goodbye. Burial and cremation are the most popular ways in which the bodies of the dead are disposed of. However, there are some alternatives to burial and cremation which are still splendid ideas.
A cheaper alternative to a traditional cremation is a direct cremation. The growing trend is basically a cremation without a service.
The body is collected by a dedicated company and cremated at a specific time to suit them. this means that the cost can be kept low. The remains are then delivered back to you and you are free to plan a separate celebration that doesn’t include all of the regular church/crematorium business.
Celebration Of Life
Having A Party Instead Of A Funeral
If you don’t have a traditional funeral or cremation, then what can you do? How about getting friends and family together at a meaningful location or just somewhere local and having a celebration of life, a proper knees up, mourning not included!
This is ever common and a popular idea, especially with the rise of direct cremation. Families are saving money on the actual funeral ceremony and deciding instead to spend on a more appropriate party. You are in control of how you celebrate. See our range of funeral ideas for more on this!
A more common practice is to get rid of the dark colours and to add a theme to the funeral. This could include requesting everyone to wear a certain colour, suggesting a theme (like a football team) or even fancy dress, if your relative was that way inclined. This can help to change the funeral of a feeling of mourning to more of a party and celebration – I for one would much prefer this for my funeral.
A humanist funeral is a non-religious service, usually held at a crematorium, but again, it can be anywhere, especially if you have opted for something like a direct cremation above. There are usually non-religious songs and readings by family and friends and the service is taken by a humanist celebrant,
There are a growing number of sites that accommodate a woodland burial. This is where the body is buried amongst a woodland, in nature. Again, this can be non-religious or religious and the locations typically have a room where family and friends can gather. Read more on woodland burials in our guide.
There are a many alternatives to burial, most very practical, some slightly bizarre – but all potentially possible if that’s what you want.
For many years, it has been the norm to have the resting place of the dead being ‘6 feet under’. However, burials are slowly being ditched for alternative ways of conducting funerals. In some cultures, cremation has been practised and it ha caught up with many more people across the world.
Yes, it is actually possible to be buried in your garden for all eternity. This can be conducted by someone of your choice or simply part of a DIY funeral.
Read our guide to get all the facts and laws required to be buried at home.
Organ / Body Donation
Some call body donation giving your body to science. Thanks to body donation, there came about developments in the medical field since medical experiments were done on cadavers. Organ donation is possible because after a person dies, some of the body parts can remain healthy and can be transplanted to recipients. It is ironic that it would take losing one life to save another one in such cases.
Burial At Sea
The land is not the only place where bodies of the dead may be disposed of. The sea is a chosen place of final rest for many who love the sea, sailors especially. Sea burials aka being buried at sea are also not costly because the body is wrapped up in cloth then tossed into the sea.
Water / Bio Cremation
Non as common (yet) but if the thought of traditional cremation does not please you, resomation may be an option for you. Bio cremation is an eco-friendly option because alkali and water-based solutions are used in decomposing the body. This is done while under high pressure, breaking down the body to liquid and bone ash. This liquid can then be recycled. It can be poured onto a garden or natural spaces. The bone ash can be put in an urn.
You Are In Control
In the end, there is no hard and fast rule as to what a funeral should look like. This website exists to show everyone that they have choices and a funeral really is a final chance to say goodbye in the most appropriate way to you possible. Who cares what others think!
In the face of death, you might be overwhelmed into taking the traditional / easy option, but if the deceased hasn’t left a final funeral wishes plan anyway, take a moment to think about what they would truly want.
Luckily, you will have options since there are a huge number of alternatives to burial & cremation and more people are now open-minded.
Embracing these methods and respecting the wishes of the dead should be the norm. Choosing an alternative funeral option is now more accepted. Embrace how different we all are and explore every option, you won’t regret it!