BID Wall French logosHave you thought about what you’d like to do before you die? Most people reflect on this question by creating a bucket list of goals and experiences they’d like to achieve during their lifetime. If the second annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival on October 30 – November 4, 2018 isn’t on your list, add it now!

With over 35 events focused on death awareness and end of life issues, this Festival needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.

The Before I Die New Mexico Festival offers creative activities that spur conversation around our inevitable mortality. The goal is to help people think and talk openly about death and dying in an upbeat space.

The 2017 Albuquerque Festival drew over 600 participants. Some of them wrote down their bucket list items and personal thoughts on the BID Festival Wall – here’s a few of their inspiring quotes:

  • “Fall in love.”
  • “See the lands of my ancestors.”
  • “To be 15 pounds HEAVIER.”
  • “Be a nurse.”
  • “Watch the Cubs play at Wrigley.”
  • “Know your worth.”
  • “Eat chicken.”

Who doesn’t like to eat chicken?! You can share your own ideas about the end of life process on this year’s Festival Wall, which will be located on the main campus of Central New Mexico Community College. For more information, see the full schedule of events online at

Must-See Events: Before I Die NM Festival

The 2018 Before I Die NM Festival will be held in three cities: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Belen. Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the scheduled happenings (events are free or low-cost):

Tuesday, October 30: Create a Great Funeral Day

  • Death Cafe Conversation – discuss death over coffee and cake. 9 am – 11 am (free – others are scheduled on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and 2).
  • Obituary Writing Workshop – find out what to include in an obituary. 4 pm – 6:30 pm (free).
  • “What Will Your Loved Ones Do With All Your Stuff?” – an insightful talk by Karen Hyatt from Estate Pros, LLC. 5 pm – 6pm (free).

Wednesday, October 31: Halloween/Dia de los Muertos

  • Passages International Tour – get a first-hand look at green funeral products and services. 1 pm – 2 pm (free).
  • Dia de los Muertos party at Sunset Memorial Park Dinner and drinks included in ticket cost, bring photos of deceased loved ones. ($25) 6:30 pm

Thursday, November 1: All Saints Day

  • Tour the Office of the Medical Investigator – see how real-life death investigations take place in New Mexico. Limited to 30 people, registration is a must! 3:30 pm – 5 pm (free).
  • “Dying: A Natural Process” – Denys Cope, RN, BSN, hospice nurse, life transition coach, and author provides insights into what happens when we die. 3 pm – 4 pm in Santa Fe (free).

Friday, November 2: All Souls Day | Plan Your Epitaph Day

  • Cremated Remains Committal Service – free service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery (Albuquerque) and Rosario Cemetery (Santa Fe). Arrangements must be made at least two days in advance. 10 am (free).
  • Cemetery Tour – an in-depth tour of historic Fairview Cemetery with David Habben, a cemetery and gravestone symbolism expert.

Saturday, November 3: Symposium Day

  • Before I Die Festival Symposium – a full day of speaker presentations, panel discussions, short films, and vendor offerings. Lunch is provided $39 for full day with lunch or $20 for half day without lunch. 8am – 5pm

Sunday, November 4: Celebration Day

  • Cremated Remains Scattering Ceremony – at La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, 15 miles south of Belen. 9 am (free).
  • South Valley Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade & Festival – celebrate the Day of the Dead with music, entertainment, a mercado, and food. 12 pm (free).

Attendees at each Festival event can enter a drawing to win two side-by-side burial plots at La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, as well as other prizes.

End of Life Planning

Gail Rubin, the Before I Die NM Festival coordinator and a Certified Thanatologist, often says “Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, and talking about funerals won’t make you dead.” She’s the author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Rubin encourages people to talk about death and make arrangements before they die. The BID Festival brings mortality out of the closet by opening up the world of death awareness and helping participants learn the ins and outs of funeral planning and end of life preparation.

Betsy Ehrenberg

Betsy Ehrenberg, CEO of Legacy Concierge

Betsy Ehrenberg, CEO and Founder of Legacy Concierge, is a BID Festival sponsor. Legacy Concierge helps fiduciaries, executors, and estate administrators prevent identity theft by securing digital access to online accounts of the deceased.

Ehrenberg is excited to help spread the word about the importance of planning in advance before you die, especially in terms of managing your digital legacy. Think about all your email addresses, social media profiles, personal and business online accounts – what will happen to these internet assets when you die?

“We build a secure electronic vault containing a plethora of information about digital records and help close accounts that belonged to the decedent,” says Ehrenberg. “We’re looking forward to sharing knowledge about digital assets and legal procedures to safeguard an estate.”

Don’t miss Ehrenberg’s talk on how to protect your online assets. Get your tickets now for the Before I Die NM Festival at See you in New Mexico!

Other sponsors of the Before I Die NM Festival – an online listing for families looking for a final resting place for their loved one’s cremated remains.

National Guardian Life Insurance Company – NGL provides preneed and individual life and group insurance products.

French Funerals and Cremations – the largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company in Albuquerque, NM

Estate Pros, LLC – professional and confidential assistance for the dispersal of personal possessions from a loved one due to a move, illness or death. ​​​​​

Morris Hall PLLC – Morris Hall specializes in estate planning, trust administration, and asset protection.

Legacy Concierge – Legacy Concierge helps fiduciaries, executors, and estate administrators prevent identity theft by securing digital access to online accounts of the deceased.

Passages International, Inc. – a leading provider of environmentally-friendly funeral options for burial and cremated remains.

Zia Trust, Inc. – a leading independent trust company that helps families manage estate and trust matters.

Part of the sponsorship proceeds from the Festival will be donated to Fathers Building Futures, a nonprofit organization that empowers formerly incarcerated parents by ensuring they have the best opportunities for stability — emotionally, socially, and financially.