Famous People who Didn’t Have a Traditional Send-off

commemorative john lennon piece

Most people presume the rich and famous would automatically have an extravagant funeral, with no expense spared. However, not all celebrities believe in having an excessive funeral service and celebration, complete with horse drawn carriages, dove release and a luxury coffin. In fact, some well-known icons have opted for the opposite.

Not all celebrities choose an elaborate funeral – here are a few who didn’t have a traditional send-off which the public could attend.

John Lennon

The murder of Beatles star John Lennon, aged 40, rocked the whole world in 1980. Someone of this level of fame could have had a huge funeral service, attended by millions of fans and celebrities. However, due to the wishes of Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono, there was no formal funeral. A couple of days after he was shot, the body was cremated in secrecy in New York, and the ashes given back to his family. The singer never received a funeral or memorial service – much to the dismay of his global fans.

David Bowie

Another musical legend who didn’t receive a conventional funeral is David Bowie, who died more recently. Before his death, Bowie had decided to arrange a “direct cremation” with no other service or celebration. Bowie’s body was cremated in New York without any of his family or friends present. It was a low key affair for a huge megastar, and it was his choice.

Anita Brookner

This novelist died aged 87 and requested that no funeral be held on her behalf. Just like Bowie, Brookner arranged a direct cremation, where the body is taken straight from the hospital or place of death to the crematorium. The ashes are either returned to the family or scattered by the undertakers.

Now that a number of celebrities have opted for a minimalist option, cutting out the funeral completely, will more people consider direct cremation? It’s certainly a cheaper option, which is an advantage for many people as funeral costs keep on rising. However, it’s worth noting that many people associate a funeral with the grieving process, and skipping the service could hinder loved ones from moving on. However, there is always the option of organising a memorial or celebratory service for the deceased at a later date – the only difference is, there’s no body to worry about.

Get in touch if you have any questions about direct cremation.


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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family

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