What is a Before I Die Festival?
Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement to 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.
The Before I Die NM festival has educational, entertaining elements such as field trips, art, movies, theater, panel discussions and Death Café conversations. Before I Die festivals have drawn thousands to events in Cardiff, Wales (UK), Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY.
At Indianapolis’ festival in 2016, 800 people attended 28 activities over three days. The inaugural Before I Die ABQ Festival drew 600 people to 22 events over six days.
The second annual Before I Die NM festival will be held Tuesday, October 30 through Sunday, November 4, 2018, at various locations around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Belen, and other locations.
Where Will Events Take Place?
Events take place at multiple locations and venues around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Belen and other New Mexico towns during Before I Die NM. They include:
- A tour of the Fathers Building Futures workshop, an Albuquerque-based nonprofit making wooden caskets and urns, on Oct. 30;
- An obituary writing workshop on Oct. 30;
- A Halloween/Dia de los Muertos party in Sunset Memorial Park on Wednesday, Oct. 31;
- Daily Death Café discussions at various locations Oct. 30-Nov. 2;
- “Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews” is a panel discussion with young funeral directors answering your questions;
- Guild Cinema showings of the 1991 romantic comedy Defending Your Life on Nov. 3 and 4 and the documentary Living While Dying on Nov. 1;
- All Souls Day Cremated Remains Committal Service at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in ABQ and Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe on Nov. 2;
- Tours of cemeteries, funeral homes, the Office of the Medical Investigator, and a cremation retort;
- A gentle Yoga class with Gloria Drayer, author of “Yoga and Grief,” on Oct. 30;
- A full day symposium with panel discussions and speakers on a wide range of end-of-life issues at UNM’s Continuing Education Building on Saturday, Nov. 3;
- The Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade & Festival in Albuquerque’s South Valley on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Read more about the Before I Die NM festival here.
Why Have a Death Discussion Festival?
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 preneed 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 NM appeals to baby boomers who are beginning to face their own mortality. The festival also provides the opportunity to engage younger generations on end-of-life issues. Sponsors connect to participants through this unique experiential festival that educates, excites and fosters planning for the inevitable.
A BIG THANK YOU TO THE SPONSORS WHO MAKE THE FESTIVAL POSSIBLE
- A Good Goodbye, funeral planning for those who don’t plan to die;
- EternityGardens.com, a website to find a permanent final resting place for the cremated remains of loved ones;
- National Guardian Life Insurance Company, one of America’s most successful and highly rated independent mutual life insurance companies.
- French Funerals & Cremations, Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company;
- Zia Trust, Inc., serving clients in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and 38 other states.
Before I Die NM Festival partners include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, Fathers Building Futures, Guild Cinema, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, and LifeIZShort.com.
Part of the proceeds from Before I Die NM will be donated to charitable partner Fathers Building Futures, a 501c(3) nonprofit social enterprise that empowers formerly incarcerated parents. They provide on-the-job workforce training and supports to enable sustainable futures for these people and their families. They make all-natural pine caskets, wooden urns, and handmade gifts in their workshop. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations.