Simple Direct Funerals

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DIY Funerals – What you need to know.

Please do not read this if you are sensitive about this subject.  There may be comments or insights that may offend.  Reader discretion is advised.

They DIY funeral is something some people consider seriously.  The main reason tends to be money.  Will it be a lot cheaper than using a funeral home?  Yes, this is quite true.  But are the financial savings worth it?

So let’s take a broad look at DIY – again keeping in mind the subject is about a dead person and this is more an introduction to DIY Funerals.

People who do DIY Funerals tend to want a simple process.  There may be a private gathering – but it generally doesn’t look like a funeral service at a church or funeral home… for obvious reasons.

With this in mind I want to keep things simple, because simple is still good.  There are two things to think about with DIY.  The body and the paperwork.

The body

When a person dies, you have to do everything for them – because they have died.  This includes moving them and “storing” I mean, looking after them.  At the same time, you need to protect yourself from any harmful things they may start emitting.

SDF keeps our handling of a person very simple.  We don’t do much with the person.  After collecting and placing them in a coffin we generally leave them alone.  There are times when we may redress a person.  But on the whole we prefer less is more.  Many people tell us that they don’t want anything done to them after they have died. 

The important thing is that the person and their contents are contained safely.  This basically means waterproofing.  “Weekends at Bernie’s” is NOT how things work in the real world.  There will be odours at some stage, the intensity does vary between individuals.

Weekend at Bernie's

Transporting the body can be tricky if you only have a sedan.  Authorities would not be keen on the person “sitting” in the back seat.  Also a trailer is a little risky, though not illegal.  But when a person is transported it needs to be safe for everyone.

We don’t embalm people.  What we do is keep the body cool until the burial or cremation.  Sometimes a family prefer the family stay with them and this is not a problem at all.  Or we will look after them here.  The number of days you can keep someone can vary.  But in general terms you certainly have a few days if the body is kept cool.

The Paperwork

Perhaps more daunting than dealing with the person who has died is sorting out all the paperwork.  This isn’t a problem if you have done it a few times.  But like everything – after many times most things become easier.  I wouldn’t know how to land a plane (safely).  But if I learnt and did it over a hundred times, it wouldn’t be too hard.

The paperwork is a little different between a burial and a cremation.  With a cremation a doctor needs to see the body after death and before the cremation.  This is because after the cremation there isn’t much a doctor can do with the ashes.  Whereas with a burial, if for any reason they needed a second look at the person.  The body will still be there (hopefully).

The doctor has paperwork to complete and the family have paperwork to do also.  The application for cremation or the gravesite is fairly straightforward.  It is the family’s responsibility to collate and send the paperwork to the council.  If there is something wrong with the paperwork it can cause issues.  I have been known to roam the hospital wards needing a doctor to tick the right box.

Also there is the Death Certificate that you will need to complete. 

A DIY Funeral is not impossible at all.  If it is purely to save money, there are other options you may like to consider.  If it is to be more involved, I have had families very involved in this process, helping transfer the person or keeping them at home, arranging things like a small gathering, etc.  I’ve done all the behind-the-scenes requirements that make this process run very smoothly.