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5th Annual Before I Die NM Festival Schedule
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
Albuquerque, NM
Friday, August 27, 2021

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death® and coordinator of the Before I Die NM Festival
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The 5th annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival will take place in-person and online with four days of death-positive conversations and experiences October 30 to November 2, 2021, in Albuquerque and at www.BeforeIDieNM.com.

The Festival has entertaining and educational elements, including field trips to funeral homes and cemeteries, speakers and panel discussions, hands-on workshops, Death Cafe conversations, and more. A small donation is requested to register for in-person and online Festival events. Every registrant will receive a Festival face mask and other goodies.

With rising COVID-19 infections, the Festival may become a totally virtual event online. Online sessions will be professionally coordinated by GatheringUs, which provides in-person and virtual memorial services and online memorial pages. The 2020 Before I Die Virtual Festival was successfully held totally online and resulted in more than 27,000 YouTube video views to date.

Saturday, October 30: In-Person Events at Strong-Thorne Mortuary Reception Center at Daniels Family Funerals & Cremation, 1100 Coal Ave. SE

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tour Strong-Thorne Mortuary, built in 1929. Conducted by Josh McManigal, Director of Operations, Park Lawn Corporation

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  "Abraham Lincoln's Impact on Modern Embalming" with Colby Hitchcock, CFSP, Director of New Mexico Operations, Park Lawn Corporation. This presentation will cover the history of modern embalming, which took off in the United States during the Civil War. You'll learn how the huge number of deaths during the war, President Lincoln's assassination, and the funeral procession that took his body across the country influenced death care in America for the following century.

11:30 to 1:00 p.m. Death Cafe conversations and lunch

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. "Who Will Speak for You? Medical Surrogacy Questions Answered" with Althea Halchuck, EJD, CT, Final Exit's Surrogate Consultant and Death Maven™. During this presentation, you will learn why your husband or child might not be the best choice to make end-of-life decisions for you when you can't. Learn what personality traits to look for in choosing an effective surrogate to ensure your EOL wishes are honored. Learn language to assert your authority to honor an advance directive and practical ways to ensure a peaceful death.

3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. "How to Make an Altar Honoring Deceased Loved Ones" You will leave this hands-on workshop with a small, take-home altar you've created (materials supplied). You can use it as a focal point to express grief and to honor and seek connection with your deceased beloveds. Feel free to bring photos and memorabilia. The workshop is facilitated by Annie Mattingley, author of The After Death Chronicles: True Stories of Comfort, Guidance, and Wisdom from Beyond the Veil (Hampton Roads 2017). She also facilitates workshops addressing grief and after-death communication.

October 30: Evening Virtual Event on Zoom

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. "Not Planning to Die with The Kominsky Method," presented by Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death® and coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival. In this new video clip-illustrated talk, laugh and learn about planning ahead for end-of-life. All video clips come from the Netflix series, The Kominsky Method.

Sunday, October 31: In-Person Events at Strong-Thorne Mortuary Reception Center at Daniels Family Funerals & Cremation, 1100 Coal Ave. SE

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Death Cafe Conversation

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. "Estate Property Distribution and Downsizing" with Karen Hyatt, EstatePros LLC

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Estate Planning with Jim Plitz, Attorney with Morris Hall PLLC

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. "Their Stuff, Our Stories" Going through our loved one's possessions is emotionally stressful. Join in this conversation with Show & Tales founder Martie McNabb and Karen Hyatt, founder of EstatePros.

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. "What You Need to Know about Body and Organ/Tissue Donation" panel discussion about how to arrange for anatomical donation, questions about free cremations, and the need to have a Plan B.

Monday, November 1: Virtual Events During Day

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. "Accessing Medical Aid in Dying in New Mexico" with Barak Wolff, MPH, Board Chair of End Of Life Options New Mexico, and others. They'll discuss the new law that supports terminally ill people's options for a peaceful death and answer questions.

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. "Grumpy, Cranky, Fussy: The Unspoken Symptoms of Grief" with Todd Van Beck, Funeral Educator, Consultant and Historian. Grief can take many forms. On this first day of Children's Grief Awareness Month, learn how to recognize and react to grieving people.

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. "The Art and Craft of Excellent Obituary Writing" with Petra Lina Orloff, founder of Beloved

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. "Behind the Scenes in the Prep Room" with Monica Torres, LFD, LE, Desairologist & Cosmetic Reconstructive Specialist, NXT Generation Mortuary Support (pre-recorded presentation)

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Virtual Death Cafe Conversation

November 1: Evening Event in Person

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. "Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews" at Tractor Brewing Wells Park location, 1800 4th St. NW. A panel of 30-somethng funeral directors share their views on modern undertaking and new trends in death care.

Tuesday, November 2: Virtual Events During Day

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. "Meaningful Memorials: How to Create a Digital Legacy for a Loved One (or Yourself!)" with Mandy Benoualid, President, Keeper, Inc. Discover free digital tools and how to use them to create collaborative online memorials where family and friends can share stories, pictures, videos, tribute messages, and much more!

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. "Don't let your savings suffer a pre-mature death" with Steve Margulin, CPA, CFP®, Wealth Manager, Managing Member, Retirement Extender® (pre-recorded presentation)

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Virtual Death Cafe conversation

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. "The Woo-Woo Side of Death" with Tammy Holmes, renowned psychic, author, and speaker

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. "The Future of Virtual Memorial Services" with Lauren Zaslansky Conner, GatheringUs

November 2: Closing Event To Be Announced


Festival Sponsors

These companies and organizations make the Before I Die NM Festival possible.

A portion of the sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales from the Before I Die NM Festival will be donated to 501(c)(3) charitable partner, Historic Fairview Cemetery, established in Albuquerque in 1881. The cemetery is the final resting place of 12,000 individuals, with remarkable stories reflecting the history of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the United States of America. The website is www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.

Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist (that's a death educator) and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the end-of-life and funeral planning conversation started. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDx talk, A Good Goodbye. She provides continuing education credit classes for attorneys, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, financial planners, funeral directors and other professionals. She's a Certified Funeral Celebrant and funeral planning consultant who has been interviewed in national and local print, broadcast and online media.

Known as The Doyenne of Death®, she is the event coordinator of the Before I Die NM Festival. She also hosts A Good Goodbye Internet radio show and produces Mortality Minute radio and online video spots. Her YouTube Channel features more than 450 videos!

Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association New Mexico Chapter. Her speaking profile is available at eSpeakers.com.

Gail Rubin has been interviewed about funeral planning issues in national and local broadcast, print and online media. Outlets include The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Kiplinger, CBS Radio News, WGN-TV,  and local affiliates for NPR, PBS, FOX, ABC-TV, CBS-TV and NBC-TV. Albuquerque Business First named her as one of their 2019 Women of Influence.

Sign up for a free planning form and occasional informative newsletter at her website, AGoodGoodbye.com.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gail Rubin
Group: A Good Goodbye
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM United States
Direct Phone: 505-265-7215
Cell Phone: 505-363-7514
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