Festival coordinator Gail Rubin with ABQ Death Cafe mascot Lola and Before I Die walls.

Festival coordinator Gail Rubin with ABQ Death Cafe mascot Lola and Before I Die walls.

On Friday, October 26 at 10:00 a.m., three large “Before I Die” walls will debut on the Main Campus of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). This is in advance of the second annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, starting October 30, 2018. The boards, created by FRENCH Funerals & Cremations, provide an opportunity for people to publicly express their life wishes and goals.

The first “Before I Die” wall was created by Candy Chang, who shared her idea in a popular TED talk in 2014. She created the first such public art project in New Orleans on the side of an abandoned building. Before I Die Walls have appeared in more than 4,000 cities in 78 countries around the world.

Every day, the writing on the walls will be photographed, the images shared on social media, and then cleared for a new day of fresh “Before I Die” statements. Tag your photos with #BeforeIDieNM on social media. The walls will stay at the entrance of CNM’s main campus on University Blvd. SE throughout the festival.

The six-day Before I Die New Mexico Festival offers activities to get us thinking about, talking about and doing something about our 100% mortality rate. Events will take place October 30 to November 4, 2018, at multiple locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Belen. The full schedule of events is available at www.BeforeIDieNM.com.


  • A Good Goodbye, funeral planning for those who don’t plan to die;
  • EternityGardens.com, a website to find a permanent final resting place for the cremated remains of loved ones;
  • National Guardian Life Insurance Company, one of America’s most successful and highly rated independent mutual life insurance companies. 
  • French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company;
  • Morris Hall, a premier estate planning law firm;
  • Estate Pros, your expert resource for property organization, distribution and administration;
  • Legacy Concierge, working with legal and financial professionals, insurance agents, individuals and successors nationwide;
  • Passages International, a leading provider of environmentally friendly funeral options for burial and cremated remains;
  • Zia Trust, Inc., serving clients in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and 38 other states.


Before I Die NM Festival partners include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, La Puerta Natural Burial GroundFathers Building Futures, Guild Cinema, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, and LifeIZShort.com.

Part of the proceeds from Before I Die NM will be donated to charitable partner Fathers Building Futures, a 501c(3) nonprofit social enterprise that empowers formerly incarcerated parents. They provide on-the-job workforce training and supports to enable sustainable futures for these people and their families. They make all-natural pine caskets, wooden urns, and handmade gifts in their workshop. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations.

Watch this video with Chris Keller, VP of FRENCH Funerals & Cremations, Chris Cavazos, Dean of Students at CNM, and Festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, with A Good Goodbye, to learn more about these walls and the Before I Die New Mexico Festival:

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