Burial vs cremation – the numbers don’t stack up says Heathfield funeral director

16th July

Do your loved ones know what you want to happen to your body when you die? A recent poll commissioned by Axell-Eames suggests this is not the case.

When the funeral director firm asked people about their funeral preferences, 76 percent of people chose cremation while 24 percent opted for burial. And yet the company’s records show only 5 per cent of the funerals the company looked after in the last year were burials.

Worryingly, the results imply there are cases where people’s final wishes are not carried out— perhaps because they are not known.

Andy Kirk from Axell-Eames said: “The results shocked us. We think the cause is people either not talking about death and their final wishes with their family, or not specifying in their will what they want to happen.

“We know conversations about death can be uncomfortable, but most people want to do their best for their loved one when that person dies. That includes carrying out someone’s final wishes relating to their funeral. If you have no idea what your spouse, partner, parent or whoever wants, why not ask?”

He added: “The funeral industry has transformed in the last few years and people can opt for a more celebratory mood for their final send-off. Again, it’s another question we recommend people ask. What kind of funeral does your loved one want—from the basic, pared-down approach to a motorcycle hearse? The doom and gloom approach of old is—forgive the pun—dead and buried.”

As a socially minded firm, Axell-Eames promotes organ donation. Common transplantations include the kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, bones, bone marrow, skin and corneas. In the UK, 6,175 people are currently waiting for a transplant, while 994 patients have received transplants since April of this year.

Spain has the highest donor rate in the world at 46.9 per million people. Spain has a presumed consent—opt-out—system where people must state they do not want their organs donated when they die. In the UK, the island of Jersey implemented an op-out system on 1 July this year and Wales also has the same system.

England is to follow suit in spring 2020. From then onwards, if there is no recorded decision for you on the NHS Organ Donation Register doctors will consider that you agree to organ donation when you die.

Andy Kirk said: “Donating an organ is an incredibly generous act and we are aware people view organ donation positively. It is just that registered donor numbers do not match the intent. The new law still allows choice, but it will help improve and save more lives.”

Axell-Eames is a family-run funeral firm serving the East Sussex area and beyond that dates back to the 1800s. Services include pre-paid funerals, green burials, packaged funerals, the funeral service and customised funerals. The company prides itself in providing compassionate, dignified and individual service for each and every customer.