Just in time for Halloween… the 4th Annual Before I Die New Mexico (Virtual) Festival.

Yes, it’s 1910 miles away, but one of the upsides of the pandemic is that with Zoom geography is no obstacle. Which is why I was invited by my friend and End-of-Life colleague Gail Rubin to give a presentation! Very grateful.

Gail’s website is A Good Goodbye, where she calls herself is The Doyenne of Death®. She is a Certified Thanatologist, which as she says, is a fancy name for a death educator. It encompasses death, dying, and bereavement. (Which incidentally, are all experiences no one escapes.) Somebody’s got to help us, since as a culture we’re all so petrified of anything death related. Gail is the force behind this festival, and it’s four packed days of presentations, movies, Death Cafes, videos, parties, and panel discussions. Some of it is focused on NM-specific topics, but not all, such as:
• How to Hold a Virtual Memorial
• “What the Dead Want to Tell You” panel of mediums (those who talk to the dead)
• “The Woo Woo Side of Death” – psychic and ghost hunter
• Why You Need an Advance Care Directive
• Widowhood
• Assisted Suicide for the Dying – Pitfalls
• Millennial Morticians
• Covid Funerals and Advance Directives

And then there’s yours truly. My presentation is called Raising the Bar on Our Funeral Traditions. Blurb:
It’s time to take our goodbye celebrations up a notch. And that doesn’t mean a great photo montage. It means getting involved, rolling up your sleeves and honoring and celebrating with all that you’ve got. Not being passive observers, but engaged creators in an unforgettable experience. With this new vision, you’ll never see funerals the same way again.
Friday October 30, 2020 3–4:30pm MT / 5–6:30om EST



I’m doubling down on my favorite Get in Action!  — the notion that doing a project, an activity, any kind of event that has people taking actions rather than just watching a professional carry out a ceremony has more value, more healing, more everything meaningful.



Another presenter is Allison Gilbert, whom I wrote a blog post about a few years ago. Her book, Past & Present, is about how to keep memories of your loved ones alive. She’s awesome. And one more presenter on a similar theme, whom I’ve never met, is Rachel Kodanaz, author of Finding Peace, One Piece at a Time: What To Do With Your and a Loved One’s Personal Possessions. They’re both presenting at a book discussion on Monday November 2, 10–11:30am MT / 12–1:30om EST.

The full schedule of events can be found here at Before I Die NM. And prices here. 

Four full days of death-related topics, and there’s fun to be had.

I’m not glib about it. I’m just glad we’re finally starting to talk about it.