The Latest “Before I Die” ABQ Festival Schedule

Before I Die ABQ logoThe inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival is scheduled for six days from Friday, October 20, 2017 to Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Events take place at multiple locations and venues around Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We’re all going to die, yet less than 30% of adults do any end-of-life planning: wills or trusts, advance medical directives or pre-need funeral planning. It’s better to talk about our wishes well before death becomes a grim reality and our loved ones can be informed.

“Before I Die” festivals foster reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. 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.

Festival events include educational and entertaining elements such as field trips, art, movies, panel discussions and Death Café conversations. An estimated 500 to 1,000 people will participate over the six days of events. Here is the current schedule of “Before I Die” festival events:

PREVIEW EVENT: Wednesday, October 11 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Death Café discussion and preview of festival events at the Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE (just off San Mateo Blvd. north of Comanche).

Friday, October 20

Caskets with price tags10:30 a.m. to noon – “What You Need to Know Before You Go” panel discussion with local funeral directors, in partnership with Oasis Albuquerque, held at 3301 Menaul NE, Suite 18, Albuquerque. Class registration through Oasis’ website is $10. Description:

Got questions about funeral planning or cremation, but uncomfortable going to a funeral home before you “have to”? Attend this panel discussion with local funeral directors fielding your queries on everything related to undertaking. This class kicks off the inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival, five days of activities providing space and opportunities to openly discuss end-of-life issues, plan ahead and take actions to address our mortality.

Moderator: Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist, A Good Goodbye

Funeral Directors:

Oasis Albuquerque LogoOasis Albuquerque is 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. Part of the proceeds from sponsor fees will support this 501 c(3) and may be tax deductible.

Evening Event – Kickoff Party “Prelude to Eternity” — Location and cost TBD — food, drinks, music, Death Over Dinner discussions

Event includes sponsor tables for connections and information distribution.

Saturday, October 21

Yoga Mountain Pose11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Yoga class “From Child Pose to Corpse Pose: Life, Death, Yoga and Spirituality,” in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico. Location: University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center, North Building, Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque. Free to Osher members, or join Osher for $20 and get the class for free, register through Osher’s website. Description:

The breath of life is with us from the moment of birth until the moment of death. Yoga provides a way for us to understand this precious connection between our mortal, physical bodies and our immortal spirits. This gentle yoga class will emphasize breathing and deep relaxation, with guided meditation to help us appreciate our eventual mortality. Class teachers Swami Omkara and Shelley Drake lead seminars that prompt conversations about mortality issues.

Day of the Dead educational events at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St SW, Albuquerque

Movie Matinees at The Guild Theater, 3405 Central Avenue NE (times TBD)

Seventh Seal Death

Death in The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal (1957) classic film directed by Ingmar Bergman, starring Max von Sydow. A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Harold and Maude meet

Bud Cort plays Harold and Ruth Gordon plays Maude

Harold and Maude (1971) cult classic comedy directed by Hal Ashby, starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art”

Mary Sharp-Davis urn

Urn by Mary Sharp-Davis

Local artists show and sell their work in ceramics, paper and other materials, featuring artistic urns, garden sculpture urns for people and pets, and other mortuary art. This event, featuring free refreshments, will take place at the South Valley studio of Mary Sharp-Davis, 1911 Poplar SW, just off of Bridge and Goff.

Albucreepy logo8:00 p.m. Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk

The 100-minute Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk is an interactive exploration of Albuquerque’s haunted past. Experienced paranormal investigators will guide you past 1.3 miles of Albuquerque’s historic (and reportedly haunted) sites such as the KiMo Theater, the old Bernalillo County Courthouse, the Wool Warehouse, the former red light district known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” and more. $16 to $20 registration at www.Albucreepy.com.

Sunday, October 22

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Tour the historic section of Fairview Cemetery, established in 1881, with historian Susan Schwartz providing insights on famous and infamous residents. Location: 700 Yale Blvd. SE, Albuquerque.

Movie Matinees at The Guild Theater, 3405 Central Avenue NE – The Seventh Seal and Harold and Maude

Day of the Dead Educational Events at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St SW, Albuquerque.

Doctor4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Making Plans to Live Well Until We Die,” in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Location: University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center, North Building, Room C, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque. Class fee $20 with registration through the Osher website, registration capped at 100. Description:

Modern medicine can extend your life. Modern medicine can also extend your dying. You can control the extent of medical interventions by writing out your advance healthcare directives, naming a healthcare power of attorney, and knowing your options when end-of-life issues arise. This panel discussion answers the questions “What should we be talking about?” “When and how is the best way to discuss these issues?” and “Now what?”

The discussion will be moderated by Gail Rubin, CT, and feature these panelists:

  • Nancy Guinn, Medical Director of Presbyterian at Home and developer of the NM MOST form (Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment, a document designed to help healthcare providers honor the treatment wishes of their patients)
  • Jan Wilson, Compassion & Choices
  • Joan Gibson, The Conversation Project in New Mexico

This event includes sponsor tables for connections and information distribution. Festival event information will be included in the Osher catalogue (3,000 copies) and printed flyers, and emailed to 1,300+ Osher members in Albuquerque.

Monday, October 23

Wood Caskets

Wood caskets built by Fathers Building Futures

Noon: Lunch and tour of the casket building workshop of Fathers Building Futures, a program of the nonprofit PB&J Family Services, located at 4301 4th Street NW, Albuquerque

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Death Café discussion at the North Valley Senior Center, 3825 4th Street NW (two blocks north of Candelaria, and just south of Fathers Building Futures)

Other events may be scheduled on this date, including tours of a cemetery, funeral home, crematorium, movie screenings, panel discussion, etc.

Tuesday, October 24

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Death Café discussion at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center, 7521 Carmel Ave. NE

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tour of the Office of the Medical Investigator laboratories, where New Mexico’s true life CSI teams help provide the answers about deaths in our state (limited to 30 people by registration only)

Other events may be scheduled on this date, including tours of a cemetery, funeral home, crematorium, movie screenings, panel discussion, etc.

Wednesday, October 25

Noon to 2:00 p.m. Panel discussion on “What You Need to Know Before You Go: Financial Issues” at the Horn Family YMCA, 4901 Indian School Road NE, in the downstairs Technology & Teen Center. Speakers to be determined. A potluck lunch is included in this free event.

FRENCH Funerals & Cremations logoThe “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival is being held in partnership with the nonprofit organizations Albuquerque Oasis, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, the Fathers Building Futures nonprofit organization, and the YMCA of Central New Mexico.

Morris Hall logoSponsors include French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company, Morris Hall, PLLC, a premier estate planning law firm, and Zia Trust, Inc., serving clients in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and 38 other states.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available to businesses and organizations that wish to connect with hundreds of Albuquerque baby boomers, seniors and younger generations through these festival activities.

Gail Rubin, CT

Gail Rubin, CT, pioneering death educator, funeral expert and Celebrant.

Festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, is a pioneering death educator who works with companies 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.

Contact: Gail Rubin, CT | PH: 505-265-7215 | Email: Gail@AGoodGoodbye.com

More information at: http://agoodgoodbye.com/upcoming-events/before-i-die-abq/

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