Speaking of Death … Before You Die, New Mexico Festival Helps Plan for End-of-Life Issues

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The Before I Die NM Festival will host “Cemetery Stories: Life, Death and Beyond” at 6 pm November 2 at the historic Fairview Cemetery. (Courtesy of Bethany Tabor)

Gail Rubin wants to talk about death, even if it’s a scary subject for many.

Rubin is behind the Before I Die New Mexico festival, which features educational signs and films about death.

The festival – now in its fifth year – begins on Saturday October 30 and ends on Tuesday November 2.

“This year we’re having a combined in-person and hybrid festival,” said Rubin. “We managed to do it virtually last year, but there is no such thing as an in-person event. “

Shown is part of Gail Rubin’s personal offering. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, there is a hands-on workshop called How to Make an Altar in Honor of Deceased Loved Ones. (Courtesy of Gail Rubin)

Rubin says the festival concept brings together entertaining and educational elements to start conversations about death and death.

The events are designed to inspire Baby Boomers and their Millennials to plan for end-of-life issues.

In-person festival events will take place in Albuquerque, pandemic restrictions permitting. Funeral homes and cemeteries in other cities and states can host one-day events, with their attendees joining virtual events online through Zoom.

“The pandemic has made mortality a top priority,” says Rubin. “The Before I Die festival helps us plan ahead for end-of-life issues, while putting the ‘fun’ into funeral planning. “

Topics of festival events include estate planning, financial planning, obituary writing, downsizing, bereavement, funerals through history and other matters.

Events include:

• Visit the historic Fairview Cemetery, established in Albuquerque in 1881, for a special tour.

• Daily Death Cafe conversations about mortality issues and issues, in person and online.

• Behind-the-scenes tours of funeral homes and cemeteries.

• Round tables by end-of-life experts, in person and online. “Millennial Morticians With ABQ Brews” returns to Tractor Brewing’s Wells Park location on Monday, November 1st.

• Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos celebration and festival preparation workshop.

All events are accessible with a small donation. Videos of in-person and online virtual sessions will be posted on the Before I Die Festival YouTube channel after the festival.

More information on the Before I Die NM 2021 festival is available on BeforeIDieNM.com.

“The festival fell into place quite quickly,” says Rubin. “We’ve worked with GatheringUs and made sure what we’re doing in person will work on Zoom. It was an incredible moment for us to welcome people again.

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