The fifth day of the Before I Die NM Festival features a daylong symposium at UNM Continuing Education Center and the Guild Cinema showing of 1991 comedy-fantasy film, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE.

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Before I Die Festival Symposium, with panel discussions, speakers, short films, and vendors selling urns, caskets and related products. Co-sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNM. Location: UNM Continuing Education building, 1634 University Blvd. NE. Lunch will be provided. $39 for full day with lunch, $20 for half day without lunch. Register here.

8:00 a.m.  Welcome by Festival Coordinator Gail Rubin, CT

8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. “Buried Treasures: Famous and Unusual Gravesites in New Mexico History” Historian, author and professor Richard Melzer, PhD, provides fascinating stories behind the final resting places of both famous and infamous New Mexicans. He will sign copies of his book afterward.

9:15 a.m. Break refreshments in Classrooms B&C

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Panel discussion: “Getting a Green Burial in New Mexico”

Panelists include Linda Canyon, La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, Darren Crouch, Passages International, Emet Ma’ayan, Fathers Building Futures, and Darrell Hill,

10:45 a.m. Break refreshments in Classrooms B&C

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 Film: Living While Dying, by Cathy Zheutlin. In a world that sees death as something to vanquish, this 45-minute documentary presents an alternative: people living with terminal illness who greet the inevitable with courage, humor, creativity and acceptance.

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch in Classrooms B&C, with time to discuss topics with fellow attendees and interact with Festival vendors and sponsors.

1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. Panel discussion “Near Death Experiences and End-of-Life Visions.” While we don’t know what happens after we die, there are tantalizing hints from beyond the veil. People who have had Near Death Experiences (NDE) lose a fear of death. Hospice workers hear the dying speak of trips and talk to deceased people. What can we make of voices from beyond? We’ll explore the “woo-woo” side of death in this session. Speakers: Erin Conklin, hospice and palliative care nurse; Elliot Essman, who experienced a NDE; and Jo Lynne, who has a unique extrasensory gift.

2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Panel discussion on legal and financial issues with Carl Wackerle, Vice Present, Individual Life & Annuity Sales, National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Jim Plitz, attorney and partner, Morris Hall, PLLC, and Betsy Ehrenberg, founder and CEO of Legacy Concierge.

2:45 p.m.  Break refreshments in Classrooms B&C

3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Panel discussion “How to Reach a Gentle Death in New Mexico” with Libby Hopkins, hospice and palliative care nurse; Revathi Davidson, retired hospice/healthcare administrator; and Keith Julian, advocate for the End-of-Life Options movement.

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Panel discussion with local funeral directors taking your questions. Panelists include Apollo Miller, French Funerals & Cremations; Gloria Salazar, Salazar Funeral Homes & Crematory; and Jody Herrington, Daniels Family Funeral Services.

5:00 p.m. Symposium ends.

1:00 p.m. The Guild Cinema showing of the 1991 comedy-fantasy DEFENDING YOUR LIFE. Starring Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep, their characters navigate the first week of the afterlife defending their actions on Earth to ascend to a higher plane of existence. Location: Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave. NE ($8 admission/$5 seniors)

See the full schedule of events here.