Learn From These Before I Die Festival Videos

Feb 9, 2022 | 0 comments

Todd Van Beck video

Todd Van Beck, funeral educator, consultant and historian, speaks online at the Before I Die NM Festival.

All of the videos from the 2021 Before I Die New Mexico Festival are now available online! The 5th annual Festival took place in-person in Albuquerque and online with four days of death-positive conversations and experiences October 30 to November 2, 2021. The Festival featured entertaining and educational elements, including field trips to funeral homes and cemeteries, speakers and panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and more. While the confidential Death Cafe conversations were not recorded, the speakers and panel discussions on a host of topics were recorded and are now available on YouTube and through the Festival website.

Festival Videos Session Topics

Festival videos include these fascinating topics:

  • “Estate Property Distribution and Downsizing,” “Don’t Let Your Savings Suffer a Pre-Mature Death,” “Gathering from Afar: Bringing Communities Together to Celebrate a Loved One,” “Everyone has an Estate: Learning What Legal Documents You Need,” “Meaningful Memorials: How to Create a Digital Legacy for a Loved One (or Yourself!)” and “Who Will Speak for You? Medical Surrogacy Questions Answered.”
  • “What You Need to Know about Body and Organ/Tissue Donation” panel discussion about how to arrange for anatomical donation, questions about free cremations, and the need to have a Plan B.
  • “Accessing Medical Aid in Dying in New Mexico” on the new law that supports terminally ill people’s options for a peaceful death.
  • “Grumpy, Cranky, Fussy: The Unspoken Symptoms of Grief” on how grief can take many forms and how to recognize and react to grieving people, as well as “How to Heal Hearts: Grief Recovery for Adults and Children.”
  • “The Art and Craft of Excellent Obituary Writing,” “Behind the Scenes in the Prep Room,” “The Woo-Woo Side of Death,” and “How to Make an Altar Honoring Deceased Loved Ones.”
  • “Abraham Lincoln’s Impact on Modern Embalming” with a virtual visit to Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

There’s also a behind-the-scenes tour of Strong-Thorne Mortuary in Albuquerque, NM and the “Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews” panel discussion with young funeral directors talking about the business and new trends in death care.

Due to copyright claims, one Festival session not available on YouTube is Gail Rubin’s presentation, “Not Planning to Die with The Kominsky Method.” However, she does have a license to use film and television clips in her talks and can do this presentation in-person or online live. Watch a compilation of clips here.

Watch the Festival Video Playlist

Before I Die Festival

Videos from Cemetery Stories

Cemetery Stories videos onlineThe closing event of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival was a community story slam called “Cemetery Stories: Life, Death and Beyond.” This event was held outdoors at Historic Fairview Cemetery, 700 Yale Blvd. SE in Albuquerque.

The evening event featured 16 people speaking about encounters with the mysteries of death and dying. Many of the stories are funny and uplifting. The stories have titles such as “A Fun Funeral,” “A Tale of Two Funerals,” “Prince Matchabelli,” and “Bodies in the Living Room?”

The closing event was created in cooperation with the New Mexico Humanities Council and Festival charitable partner, Historic Fairview Cemetery. Watch all the Cemetery Stories in this video playlist:

Cemetery Stories

Thank You to Our Sponsors

2021 Festival Sponsor Logos

A portion of the sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales from the Before I Die NM Festival were donated to 501(c)(3) charitable partner, Historic Fairview Cemetery, established in Albuquerque in 1881. The cemetery is the final resting place of 12,000 individuals, with remarkable stories reflecting the history of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the United States of America. The website is www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.

Festival Coordinator and Video Host

Gail Rubin, death educator, video host

Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®

Festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, is a pioneering death educator. She 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.

Gail Rubin was recognized with the 2019 Women of Influence Award by Albuquerque Business FirstFind out why.

As a professional speaker, Gail uses humor, videos and outside-the-box activities to help people plan ahead for end-of-life issues. She also consults with businesses and individuals that want to host their own Before I Die Festivals.

Check out and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

A Good Goodbye