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Highlighting Speakers at the 2023 Before I Die New Mexico Festival
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
Albuquerque, NM
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Comedian Ben Wasserman coming to Albuquerque!
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There's an incredible line-up of speakers and activities at the 6th annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, October 16-21, 2023. Taking place at different locations each day around Albuquerque, there's something for everyone.
Daily themes are: Money and Mourning; Aging and Mortality; Cremation and Burial; Greening Funerals; Discussing Death Won't Kill You; and Murder and Mayhem. Selected sessions will be available on Zoom.
Some highlights include:
  • A Mortuary Mall at Sunset Memorial Park on October 18, where people can look at and learn about funeral & cremation products and services.
  • A comedy show in a funeral home by Ben Wasserman on October 20. His Live After Death interactive comedy enables us to laugh about death, grief and loss.
  • Death Cafe discussions and Mortality Movies followed by conversations over several days of the festival.
  • Psychic medium Tammy Holmes on Messages from Your Loved Ones from the Other Side about the Death Process, and a second session on How to Be Your Own Best Friend.
  • A day devoted to green funerals and home funerals at Passages International.
  • Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews Femme Fatale panel discussion with young women funeral directors and morticians, and many other fascinating panels and speakers on end-of-life issues.

View the full schedule of events here.

Ben Wasserman Live After Death

America's Ben Wasserman is a very special boy with an incredibly vulnerable, hilariously funny, high-octane interactive comedy show about death grief and loss that you won't want to miss! You can catch Ben's Live After Death show at local funeral homes, cemeteries, haunted bars, community death spaces or taxidermy shops.

We're all going to lose someone and we're all going to die – so why not laugh a little?

Ben is appearing in Albuquerque on October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at French Funerals & Cremations Rio Rancho location, 1275 Unser Blvd. NE. His show is part of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival and his The Last Tour road trip throughout the United States. You can register directly for Live After Death on Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/live-after-death-a-comedy-show-in-a-funeral-home-tickets-706839224147). If you want to attend his show along with Before I Die New Mexico Festival events, his show is included when you register at the $60 level.

BONUS: Are you in a couple who would like to play Newly-Dead® The Game at 6:30 p.m. prior to Ben's show? Martie McNabb with Show & Tales will conduct this game that tests how well you know your partner's last wishes. Email Gail [at] agoodgoodbye.com to volunteer!

Psychic Medium Tammy Holmes

Psychic medium Tammy J. Holmes helps others through readings, clearing psychic energy, speaking events, and writing. She is the author of the book Remembering One, Once Again: Twelve Principles That Will Change Your Life. She is appearing at two Before I Die New Mexico Festival events:

Friday, October 20 at 2:00 p.m. at French Funerals & Cremations location in Rio Rancho at 1275 Unser Blvd. NE:

Messages from Your Loved Ones from the Other Side about the Death Process

Tammy HolmesPsychic medium Tammy Holmes will help you understand what truly happens when you are dying. She'll answer questions such as: What is it like leaving your physical body? What signs will you see as you start to alter realities? Why is there pain in the death cycle? Who is waiting for you to help you cross over? Where do you go once you transition? Why do some people die suddenly and others take months or years to leave? She'll help you understand that you choose your exit point and how you die.

Saturday, October 21 at 12:30 p.m. at Resonant Essentials, 3107 Eubank Blvd. NE, Suite 34, ABQ

How To Be Your Own Best Friend: Self-Love Reflections

Can you say without question that you have been kind to yourself by your thoughts, deeds and actions? What have you told yourself over the years? Can you love yourself unconditionally? Can you forgive yourself? Are you playing old records in your head that no longer serve you? What energy leaks are you still attached to? Can you even receive love? There are ways to stop sabotaging your life.

It is not okay to play small or sacrifice and call it love. What is hanging around you that may be limiting your soul's evolution? What joyful things do you do that fill your soul's bank account? Tammy will show you how to find balance and play in your life and how to let go of all outcomes.

One of Tammy's favorite sayings is from the Course In Miracles: "You can play host to God or hostage to a person, place or thing." She'll help you find the right way to say affirmations that serve your highest good, making solutions to finding joy and peace.

After her talk, she will do a gallery reading. A gallery reading enables a medium to channel messages in a group setting. In this setting not every attendee is guaranteed to be read, as the deceased ones decide who they want to connect with and for how long.

Death Maven™ Althea Halchuck, EJD, CT, BCPA - October 20 at 4:00 p.m. MT on Zoom

You're Suing Me BECAUSE I Kept Your Mom Alive? A Discussion of Wrongful Prolongation of Life Lawsuits

Althea HalchuckAn advance directive gives competent adults the right to choose their medical care, accept or reject even life-saving medical treatment, and appoint a surrogate to speak for them after they become incapacitated. If medical providers ignore the patient's healthcare wishes, the patient or family may have a cause of action against the provider, resulting in monetary payouts. Doctors cannot override a patient's wishes because they think they know what's best, even if they feel they're acting "in good faith."

It is not always better to "err on the side of life," especially when the Advance Directive and surrogate say otherwise.  Sometimes, resuscitating a person only serves to prolong a much-wanted death and creates anguish and expense for the family. Althea will illustrate some of the more egregious cases, designed to educate the public and providers about the importance of listening to the patient and their legal surrogate, the duty to follow a legally executed advance directive, DNR or POLST, and the consequences of failure to do so.

Althea Halchuck, EJD, CT, BCPA, is founder of Ending Well! Patient Advocacy, LLC, a Board Certified Patient Advocate and Professional Medical Power-of-Attorney.  Her expertise and service to patients are extensive, with over 20 years of experience advocating for the vulnerable and dying.  She has focused much of her life and career on assisting those facing the end of their lives, and her advocacy focuses on end-of-life care, planning, and counseling to help people have a "peaceful death."

Her presentation on Zoom, thanks to Keeper, will also be shown in person at French Funerals & Cremations Rio Rancho location.

Monday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. Understanding Grief Panel Speakers

Grief Speakers

This session will dispel common misconceptions about grief, explore its various types and stages, and offer guidance on supporting grieving individuals. Speakers Genna Reeves, Ph.D., HeartLight Center; Dr. Adrienne Larkin, Ph.D. in clinical psychology specializing in children and family grief, and Mickey Kivitz, The Grief Center of New Mexico, will delve into the profound impact of grief on physical and mental health, discuss local grief support resources, and discuss how events like this festival can promote more open conversations around death, dying, and grief. This panel will help equip attendees to navigate grief with greater compassion and effectiveness.

This event will take place at Daniels Family Funerals Wyoming Chapel, 7601 Wyoming Blvd. NE, and will also be available on Zoom to festival registrants.

Register Here

Thank you to the sponsors of the festival: French Funerals & Cremations, Sunset Memorial Park, Passages International, and Keeper. Gail Rubin is the Before I Die New Mexico Festival Coordinator.

2023 Festival Sponsors

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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