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How Grief is Like Driving on Your Emergency Spare Tire
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
Albuquerque , NM
Thursday, May 09, 2019

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

Emergency Spare Donut TireHave you ever had to use the emergency spare tire on your automobile? It's smaller than your regular tires. As a result, you have to change your driving habits when you rely on this emergency "donut" tire.

Experiencing grief and mourning is a lot like driving around on your spare tire. Consider:

  • You have to slow down. The emergency spare tire's label warns you to keep your speed below 50 miles per hour. When you are mourning a loss, you need to change your pace of life to recognize and honor your grief. Take the time to slow down, avoid making costly mistakes, and process this major life change.
  • You change your daily routine and route. Do you usually zip along on the freeway going 65 mph or more? You'll need to change to a surface street to keep below that 50 mph maximum or risk the wrath of other freeway drivers. Unfortunately, many people try to keep up their ordinary routines when grieving. Pretending life is still the same after a major loss can be harmful to your emotional state.
  • You become keenly sensitive to your surroundings. Driving with one less-than-optimal tire, you want to avoid potholes or debris that may damage the only spare tire you have. Mourning is an emotionally sensitive time. Grievers may compensate by going out of their way to avoid situations or places that prompt distress. Some may quickly remove reminders of their loved ones, getting rid of clothing, favorite foods or other objects.
  • You recognize life's fragility. Driving around with all four regular tires, one may feel in control and impervious to danger. Being aware that one tire failed, you are reminded that life has no guarantees. Grief and mourning remind us that with love comes loss.
  • You want to get back to normal. Sometimes, it takes a while to get a new tire. Drivers may become impatient waiting for the time when the regular tire is ready and installed. Mourners wonder when they'll be able to feel "normal" after a loss. It's a process to find a new normal after a loved one dies. Be patient with yourself and the process of life going on.

You never know when a tire will blow, and you never know when a loved one will die. Check your spare tire from time to time, to make sure it can do the work when needed. Likewise, tell your loved ones you love them while you can. Make peace with those against whom you carry a grudge before it becomes an unbearable burden.

As we roll down the road of life, let's be sensitive to our fellow motorists who may be driving on their emergency spare donut tire.

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death

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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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