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Death Educator Gail Rubin Receives ADEC Community Educator Award
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
Albuquerque, NM
Monday, April 29, 2024

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®
Video Clip: Click to Watch

Albuquerque-based death educator Gail Rubin, CT, was recognized by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) with their prestigious Community Educator Award at the organization's annual conference in Houston on April 11, 2024.

Gail Rubin accepts ADEC Award from Jakob van WielinkADEC's Community Educator Award honors an individual in a non-academic setting with expertise in the field of thanatology, the study of death, dying and bereavement. The award recognizes excellence in developing community focused teaching materials and events that are innovative and cutting edge. Jakob van Wielink, Partner at the Netherlands' De School voor Transitie (The School for Transition) presented the award.

Gail Rubin, a Certified Thanatologist known as the Doyenne of Death®, has created and facilitated numerous community death education events and materials:

  • She was one of the first people to hold a Death Cafe in the United States in September of 2012 and continues to hold them monthly. Today, more than 17,908 Death Cafes have been held in 89 countries, providing a forum for people to openly discuss questions and concerns about mortality.
  • Rubin has fostered and promoted the Before I Die Festival concept to encourage people to engage with funeral homes, cemeteries, and other end-of-life businesses without having to experience a death in the family.
  • She created the Newly-Dead® Game and Newly-Dead® Bingo to provide a fun way to teach the public about end-of-life issues and plan ahead.
  • She offers guidance on holding Before I Die Festivals with a book and toolkit, the Before I Die Festival in a Box™.
  • Rubin produced a range of videos, including on her YouTube channel, @GailRubin, and hosted the A Good Goodbye TV interview program.
  • She also hosts The Doyenne of Death Podcast, with interviews about death, grief, funerals, and mortality.
  • Rubin is working on an upcoming TV series, Mortality Movies. This will be a series of 30-minute programs that include clips from films and television programs with lessons on planning for end-of-life issues. It features discussions between the Doyenne of Death and death doulas/grief experts Genna Reeves, Ph.D., and Danielle Slupesky.

Rubin has scheduled the next Before I Die New Mexico Festival, to take place in the Albuquerque area November 1-4, 2024. French Funerals & Cremations and Keeper Virtual & Hybrid Memorial Services are the first festival sponsors to participate.

"My motto is – Talking about sex won't make you pregnant, talking about funerals won't make you dead. I've been talking about death for 15 years, and so far, so good," joked Rubin. She is known for using humor to break down resistance to end-of-life planning.

She added, "Even though humans have a 100% guarantee of death, less than 30% of adults make advance end-of-life plans. You can only laugh about death when it seems like a distant possibility. I'm working to change up the percentage who make advance plans, to reduce stress at a time of grief, help people save money, and create a good goodbye."

In 2023, the deaths of Rubin's husband and father gave her real-life stories to share about the benefits of preneed funeral planning. She is writing about her experiences in her fifth book on end-of-life topics. She's the author of these award-winning books:

  • A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die
  • Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips
  • Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die
  • The Before I Die Festival in a Box™

In her award letter of recommendation, Althea Halchuck, founder of Ending Well Patient Advocacy, LLC, said, "I have seen, first-hand, the impact of Gail's community education events among professionals and the general public. She uses film clips and audience participation in her presentations and makes the topics of death, dying, and bereavement accessible, understandable, and surprisingly fun."

Genna Reeves, Ph.D., Certified Grief Educator, Death Doula and Community Liaison for HeartLight Center, added in her letter, "She presents information in a way that is accessible, fun, related to popular culture and current events, and supportive…. Even more impressive, Gail has used her personal experiences of death and grief to educate the New Mexico community about what can ease stress during these difficult times."

View the video of the presentation here.

Learn more about Gail Rubin and her work at www.AGoodGoodbye.com and www.BeforeIDieFestivals.com.

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 TipsKICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die and The Before I Die Festival in a Box™.

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 New Mexico Festival and author of a guide to holding such festivals. Her podcast is also called The Doyenne of Death®. She produces videos about the funeral business and related topics. Her YouTube Channel features hundreds of 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. 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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