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
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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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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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

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
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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