This Thanksgiving, How About Discussing Advanced Directives?

Nov 21, 2013 | 0 comments

Engage With Grace The One Slide Project73% of Americans say dying at home is their preference, but anywhere between 20-50% of Americans die in hospital settings. Would your nearest and dearest know your healthcare preferences if you could not speak for yourself? If not, why not discuss your wishes as the family gathers for the Thanksgiving holiday?

Alexandra Drane, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Engage With Grace, knows the power of intention applied to life-and-death situations. She saw how her 32-year-old sister-in-law, who had a life-threatening brain tumor, was able to say no to death in the hospital and was able to die peacefully at home.

“People don’t talk about death, which means that often times, people aren’t able to die in the way that they lived — with intent,” said Drane. “Some people die in a hospital when they would have preferred to be at home. Others are kept on life sustaining treatments way beyond the point they would have wanted. This comes at a high cost to us, our families and the healthcare system.”

Alexandra Drane joins host Gail Rubin on A Good Goodbye Radio on Wednesday, November 27 at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT to discuss how to start meaningful conversations this Thanksgiving using five questions from Engage With Grace’s The One Slide Project.

Topics include:

  • How Rosaria “Za” Vandenberg’s life and death sparked a movement
  • Why it’s important to talk about advanced directives and end-of-life preferences NOW, before a medical crisis hits
  • What five questions can help avoid stress and indecision in the ICU
  • How many Americans have prepared advance directive documents (it will shock you)
  • Where to find resources to help open discussions and handle end-of-life care issues

Download the podcast!

A Good Goodbye is an entertaining and educational weekly 60-minute online radio show on “everything you need to know before you go.”  The program airs live on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. CT / 4:00 p.m. MT / 3:00 p.m. PT online.

All past program podcasts on A Good Goodbye radio can be downloaded for free from iTunes, and

The next scheduled program guest is Lee Witting, representing the International Association of Near-Death Studies (Dec. 11).

A Good Goodbye covers a wide range of critical information most people don’t consider until there’s a death in the family. Host Gail Rubin brings a light touch to a serious subject and presents expert interviews on funeral planning issues with practical insights into the party no one wants to plan.

By planning ahead and having a conversation, families can reduce stress at a time of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and create a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.”

Sign up for a free planning form and get more information at

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Gail Rubin, funeral expert and Celebrant

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, is author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. Host of A Good Goodbye television series and Internet radio show, she is also a Certified Celebrant, funeral planning consultant, insurance agent and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the funeral planning conversation started. Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. She is Vice President of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue of New Mexico, helping to start conversations across religions. Her website is

Contact: Gail Rubin | PH: 505-265-7215

A Good Goodbye