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Funeral News Stories
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM
Thursday, March 24, 2022


Reading NewsThese funeral news stories offer ways to talk about death and dying. These news items were compiled by Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®.

Washington Post: Even on his birthday, a black funeral director can’t escape covid deaths

As the pandemic enters its third year, the nation is edging toward normalcy. Except funeral directors still grapple with an enormous wave of deaths. Read the full story.

Washington Post: How I learned to talk about death and dying

This opinion piece by Steven Petrow starts out:

A serious illness is many things — terrifying, painful, life-altering. The prospect of losing a loved one, or your own life, becomes an unspeakable agony. It’s also isolating in a way I never could have imagined. I’ve been the one in that sickbed, and I’ve also done some time sitting beside it. I wouldn’t wish either experience on anyone.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking about what memoirist Meghan O’Rourke has called “the long goodbye” and trying to focus on the one gift it does give us: the gift of time. Time to plan, but mostly time to unearth and process our feelings. And then, if we’re fortunate, to be able to share these deep-seated fears with those we love.

Read the full opinion piece.

The Guardian: A forensic pathologist on the legacy of lockdown: I look at death every day – let’s change the way we talk about it

This piece by Richard Shepard is part of The Guardian’s series “Two Years On: The legacy of lockdown.” It provides a perspective of a forensic pathologist from the U.K. on the pandemic and death. Among his observations:

I know that I am unusual in having had such a longstanding personal insight into death and the fundamentally precarious nature of our lives. Many of us have never seen a dead body, even of a close relative. In our westernised, urban society, the tradition of paying your respects to the body in an open coffin in the parlour is now rare. This offered the opportunity to recognise the normality of death: to look it in the face; to consider your responses; to remember your own impermanence.

By the start of this century, it seemed to me that death had become a subject generally to be avoided, glossed over, obfuscated and (if at all possible) simply ignored, at least until one was faced with it personally. Now, the lack of this experience often means it feels overwhelming.

Read the full opinion piece.

Washington Post: The death spiral of an American family

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. — Dave Ramsey Jr. walked into the funeral home with $60 in cash, hoping to settle one more of his father’s outstanding debts. He followed an employee into a private bereavement room, where she took his final payment and said she’d look in the storage room for his father’s remains.

“It was just a basic cremation, right?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “The cheapest one.”

“And did you order any kind of urn, or a memory book, or —?”

“No. Sorry,” he said. “I know he deserved a lot better.”

It had been almost a month since Dave, 39, found his father lying unresponsive in bed next to his cellphone and a bill from a collections agency, having died of a heart attack at age 70, and ever since then Dave had been trying to make sense of what his father had left behind. He’d read through his father’s credit card statements and then talked to a banker, who concluded that the final estate of David Ramsey Sr. was of “inconsequential value.” Like a record 23 percent of Americans who’ve died in the past five years, the ultimate financial worth of his father’s life was nothing — a number somewhere below zero.

Read the full sad story.

Let’s help our loved ones discuss death and plan ahead. Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead. Your family will benefit from the conversation.

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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