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About seventy percent of us are cremated when we die, but most crematoria are austere municipal places where many of us feel uncomfortable. More and more people are opting for the cheaper and more flexible option of having a “direct cremation” (the simplest kind of cremation with no mourners present) and then holding a memorial later, usually, but not always with the ashes present. The memorial is also a good option for people who have given their bodies to medical science.

 This kind of memorial puts bereaved family and friends more in control, giving people the freedom to use their imagination to create a ceremony that is really unique, personal and free from the often old-fashioned conventions of the funeral parlour, for example by booking a favourite pub, restaurant or social club as the venue.  It also means that the ceremony can be arranged at a time to suit the bereaved, for example on a weekend a few weeks after the death, so people can get there more easily.

 I can help you arrange a memorial event in the following simple steps:

 For other non-crematorium options, including DIY,  plus lots of advice on making environmentally friendly choices, see http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk

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Felicity Harvest humanist celebrant
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