Saturday, October 21, the second day of the inaugural Before I Die ABQ Festival, features a host of fun activities to get you thinking about your mortality: yoga, movies, an art show of cremation-related works, a presentation by a coroner investigator on autopsies, and the Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Tour! Many activities are free or low cost.
Here are details for Saturday’s events:
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Yoga Class at UNM Continuing Education
“From Child Pose to Corpse Pose: Life, Death, Yoga and Spirituality” is a gentle yoga class that’s accessible for everyone.
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 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.
This event is being held in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico. Location: UNM Continuing Education Center, North Building Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd. NE. Register through Osher – Osher members free/Non-members can join for $20.
Noon and 2:00 p.m. Double Feature Films at the Guild Cinema
Noon: 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.: The Seventh Seal (1957) classic film directed by Ingmar Bergman, starring Max von Sydow. A world-weary Medieval knight seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
In between both films, festival coordinator Gail Rubin will show “The Bubblegum Film.” This film production class project she created in 1980 shows that Gail was meant to be a death educator who uses humor and funny films to teach about end-of-life issues.
The Guild Cinema is offering a special double feature price for these two films. Attendees at all Before I Die ABQ Festival events can enter drawings for a free cremation from The Neptune Society of Albuquerque and a cedar “coff-urn” from The Old Pine Box.
2:00 to 6:00 p.m. “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art”
The local cremation rate ranges between 68% in Albuquerque to 75% in Rio Rancho. One in five families keep a loved one’s cremated remains at home. Why not make their urn a unique lasting tribute that’s a work of art? Honor the life and times of a beloved person or pet by keeping their remains in a special container made by New Mexico artists.
“Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art” features some of New Mexico’s top artists in ceramics and wood, including:
Luisa Baldinger, one-of-a-kind ceramic vessels, Santa Fe
Mike Gutierrez, wooden cremation urns, Albuquerque
Sandra Harrington, functional pottery and ceramics, Taos
Linda Hayden, soda, raku and pit-fired ceramics, Santa Fe
Judy Nelson-Moore, ceramic and mixed media sculptures, Santa Fe
Mary Sharp-Davis, porcelain and stoneware funerary sculpture, Albuquerque
Lynn Ann Vukonich, The Old Pine Box caskets and urns, Edgewood
Location: The studio of Mary Sharp-Davis, 1911 Poplar Lane SW, Albuquerque – South Valley
Directions: From Bridge Street, turn north at Goff, then left onto Poplar.
4:00 p.m. How Do You Know If an Autopsy Is Necessary?
Vidal Herrera, founder of private autopsy service 1-800-AUTOPSY, has more than 40 years of experience as a coroner investigator. During his tenure at the Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner Coroner office, Southern California experienced an unprecedented rise in serial killings that Herrera investigated, including The Hillside Strangler, The Skid Row Slasher, The Freeway Slasher, The Grim Sleeper (Strawberry Killer) and The Night-Stalker. He’ll talk about options for families when they have questions about a loved one’s death. Free event. Location: Cooper Art Center, 130 Quincy NE.
8:00 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. Tours range from $16 to $20 – register for the October 21 tour at www.AlbuCreepy.com.
And here are other great upcoming activities in the Before I Die ABQ Festival:
- A tour of historic Fairview cemetery (established 1881), and the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI);
- “Answering Your Burning Questions About Cremation” information session;
- Panel discussions on “Making Plans to Live Well Until We Die” on medical care and end-of-life issues;
- “Jewish Burial Equals Green Burial” at the Jewish Community Center;
- Death Cafe discussions at Albuquerque Senior & Multigenerational Centers;
- A tour of the Fathers Building Futures casket building workshop;
- Panel discussion and presentation on financial and legal issues related to end-of-life;
- “Mindfulness, Mortality and Self-Care,” a meditation session with world-renowned teacher Ralph Steele.
The Before I Die ABQ Festival is made possible by these sponsors:
- A Good Goodbye, funeral planning for those who don’t plan to die;
- French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company;
- The Neptune Society, America’s most trusted cremation service;
- Lasting Legacy, Inc., providing estate and trust services to New Mexico families;
- Express Legal Solutions, LLC, offering “documents you need at a price you can afford;”
- Retirement Extender®, a team of specialists making the most of your finances;
- Morris Hall, PLLC, a premier estate planning law firm;
- LifeIZShort.com, practical guides for dealing with the inevitable by Peter Callan;
- The Old Pine Box, specializing in pine and cedar coffins and caskets, and specialty urns;
- My Final Checklist, a master file for personal information;
- Zia Trust, Inc., serving clients in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and 38 other states;
- 1-800-AUTOPSY, a thanatology specialty service company.