Direct cremation is fine for them, but what about me?

Friday May 31st 2024

William Purves

This View has been written by William Purves Funeral Directors who are supporters of Midlothian View.

There’s no doubt that the popularity of a direct cremation as a funeral choice is on the rise.

It’s simplicity and low cost suits many people but it can also leave a harmful legacy for family and friends. So what are the risks and the benefits of choosing a direct cremation?

Direct cremation is where the deceased, in their coffin, is taken directly to the crematorium with no-one in attendance and no service for family or friends.

It’s cost-effective, appealing to those on a very tight budget, or those who want a simple no-frills send off. It also suits those where long distance travel for other family members could pose a challenge or lead to delays.


When family and friends aren’t given an opportunity to say goodbye, the choice of direct cremation can leave a negative legacy. When they were making their decision, the person who has died may be unaware of the consequences it may have for their loved ones.

Mourning is an important part of the bereavement process. It’s having a chance to say goodbye, to share memories with others, to celebrate and commiserate. It’s intrinsically human. Cutting out this ritual can leave a legacy of unresolved grief for those left behind down the line.

Unattended cremation

At William Purves, we offer the best of both worlds with our unattended cremations. Here families are offered the opportunity to have a service and combine this with a direct cremation. This balances the preference to have a low-cost and minimal fuss cremation whilst offering loved ones a chance to say their final goodbyes.

For some, having a coffin in sight provides important closure, and for others, the rituals around a funeral service can bring long-lasting comfort.

Our promise in practice

Unattended cremations can vary from elaborate events to simple send-offs using a variety of venues from our service rooms, to a village hall or the pub. It includes many traditional elements just not the crematorium.

Our teams listen carefully to what’s anticipated and shape a funeral that respects the deceased’s wishes while managing the expectations of the living to achieve the right no-fuss balance.

We also do not charge an additional fee for family viewings because, in our experience, we know how important it is to have that final opportunity and leave no regrets.


Whatever choices a family makes, the ashes can be returned for interring, scattering or storing. We have a wide range of caskets, urns and scatter tubes as well as ashes jewellery to offer as well as traditional stone memorials

For five generations we’ve offered families the widest choice of funerals. Whatever they choose, they’ll always receive William Purves’ highest standards of compassion, dedication, integrity and respect.

For more information see here

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