Lola, the Albuquerque Death Cafe mascot

Even though humans have a 100% mortality rate, less than 30% of us make any end-of-life plans. What will get adults to discuss and plan for their eventual demise? Put some “fun” in funeral planning to get people to discuss this serious topic.

Announcing the inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque Festival, to be held Friday, October 20 to Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at various locations around Albuquerque, New Mexico. The six-day festival offers multiple activities for people to openly think about, talk about and do something about our mortality.

The evolving schedule of events, many of which are free or low-cost to attend, include:

  • “Prelude to Eternity” festival kick-off party with Death Over Dinner discussions
  • A panel of local funeral directors discussing “What You Need to Know Before You Go”
  • Daily Death Cafe discussions at various settings around town
  • A tour of historic Fairview cemetery (established 1881)
  • Panel discussion “Making Plans to Live Well Until We Die” on medical care and end-of-life issues
  • Yoga class “From Child Pose to Corpse Pose: Life, Death, Yoga and Spirituality”
  • Movie matinees at the Guild Theater, featuring The Seventh Seal and Harold and Maude
  • “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art” with local artists selling their works in ceramics, paper and other media
  • Day of the Dead educational events at the National Hispanic Cultural Center
Gail Rubin, CT, pioneering death educator, funeral expert and Celebrant.

“By providing space and opportunities to openly discuss end-of-life issues, we can improve the percentage of those who plan ahead and take actions to address our mortality,” said festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, a pioneering death educator, award-winning author and TED speaker.

“Right now, more than 70% of our loved ones will scramble to pull together information and make expensive decisions under duress of grief, and it doesn’t have to be that way,” she added.

“Before I Die” festivals are part of a growing social movement to foster reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. “Before I Die” festivals have drawn thousands to events in Cardiff, Wales (UK), Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. This will be the first such festival west of the Mississippi.

The “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival is being held in partnership with the nonprofit organizations Albuquerque Oasis and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico. Sponsors include French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company, Morris Hall, PLLC, a premier estate planning law firm, My Final Checklist master information file by Suzanne Atkinson, and Zia Trust, Inc., The Advisors’ Trust Company®.

Other sponsors and partners are welcome to connect with hundreds of Albuquerque baby boomers, seniors and younger generations through these festival activities.

“This is a great opportunity to join other sponsors reaching the lucrative baby boomer market on end-of-life issues in a fun, upbeat series of presentations and events,” said Rubin. “Call 505.265.7215 today to join in the success!”

Event coordinator Gail Rubin works with companies and organizations that want to connect with baby boomers concerned about end-of-life issues. A featured speaker at TEDxABQ in 2015, she’s the author of three books on end-of-life issues, including 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. In a previous lifetime, she was a public relations professional and an event planner.

Part of the proceeds from “Before I Die” Albuquerque will be donated to charitable partner Albuquerque Oasis, a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to promote healthy aging through lifelong learning, active lifestyles and social engagement. Established in 1991, Oasis Albuquerque offers over 150 programs and distributes 12,000 course catalogs per trimester. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations.

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