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The Death Diaries Interview with Gail Rubin
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque , NM
Friday, February 14, 2020


The Death Diaries Podcast explores a topic most people avoid discussing. For real people who need real stories about how to cope with death and its many complexities, the Death Diaries is the Podcast that delivers an exploration of life’s inevitable exit strategy, because deeper meaning and coping skills make it a lot less scary.

The latest episode features a 30-minute interview with Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, a pioneering death educator who was one of the first people to hold a Death Cafe in the United States. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Each person interviewed on The Death Diaries Podcast is asked to write and recite their reflections on some aspect of mortality. This is my entry, written and recorded in September, 2019.

Death Diary 9.16.19

Dear Diary,

I’m the Doyenne of Death. I believe in the power of humor toget people to discuss and plan for our 100% mortality rate. But you can onlylaugh about death when it seems like a distant possibility. When you have a lovedone who is gravely ill, that’s no time to make jokes about funeral planning.

My younger brother Lee just spent his 60thbirthday in the hospital. He had quadruple bypass surgery and was assured he’dbe out of the hospital to recover at home in six days. It hasn’t worked outthat way.

The second night after surgery, he had “an event.” His bloodpressure and heart rate dropped dangerously low. He was placed on a ventilator,kept sedated and on pain medications. He developed sepsis, and the doctors puthim on antibiotics. As I write this, it has been a full week since the surgery,and he is nowhere near any condition to go home.

The first day after “the event,” I spoke to my niece, hisdaughter. “You know I’m the Doyenne of Death, so I have to ask you, do you knowwhat his wishes might be if he dies?” No one wants to think about such a direoutcome.

She said he told her a while ago that he’d like to becremated and have his ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast ofNew Smyrna Beach, Florida. He loved to swim in the ocean there. At least weknow that much.

I hope he will get better. He is walking a fine line rightnow. I just pray when others find themselves in similar circumstances, withfamily members who could die in the hospital, that they’ve had “The Talk.”Serious conversations about end-of-life issues, conducted BEFORE the trip tothe hospital, can provide light in a dark time.

I hope my work gives people permission to laugh, and learn,and be prepared.

Gail Rubin

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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