Have you planned your funeral? Ask anyone this question and you’ll likely get a strange look instead of a straight answer. Death has become a taboo subject in modern society and people don’t like to talk about their impending mortality. Still, we are all going to die someday, so why not talk about it and get our affairs in order while there’s still time? The Before I Die NM Festival is the perfect opportunity for those interested in putting the “fun” in funerals and planning in advance for end of life.
Before I Die NM Festival: What Is It?
Perhaps you’re not convinced there is anything particularly festive about death, but the second annual Before I Die NM Festival is here to change your mind. The Festival takes place Tuesday, October 30 to Sunday, November 4, 2018 with a series of upbeat events that encourage attendees to openly think and talk about death and dying. The events will be held at multiple venues in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Belen, New Mexico, and the festival schedule includes panel discussions, workshops, tours, movies, parties, and more.
Learn How to Downsize
The Before I Die Festival offers something for everyone. For those interested in scaling down a lifetime of things, a team of professional organizers will discuss “How to Downsize and Still Keep Your Family Legacy” on November 1 in Albuquerque. The panel, moderated by Gail Rubin, coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival, will provide helpful tips on how to declutter personal items and keep the focus on treasured keepsakes. Get your questions answered during this lively panel discussion with advice from these experts:
- Karen Hyatt, founder of Estate Pros LLC in Santa Fe, has a background in psychology and communications. She sees her work as an extension of end-of-life care.
- Miriam Ortiz y Pino, More Than Organized, is a Certified Professional Organizer, Simplicity Expert & Coach, Entrepreneur, Writer, Blogger and Creator of The Streamlined Solution.
- Hazel Thornton, a professional organizer and genealogist, is creator of The Clutter Flow Chart Collection and author of “Go with the Flow! The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life.”
This idea was recently popularized by Margareta Magnusson in her book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” According to Magnusson, death cleaning means “that you remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet.” Learning how to downsize before you die is a great way to make final decisions about your legacy, and is also a thoughtful gift to leave behind for your family as it removes the burden of this task from their shoulders.
Karen Hyatt of Estate Pros, LLC will also provide helpful insights on how to handle your personal legacy in a presentation titled “Your Estate and Your Stuff” on October 30 in Santa Fe, NM. Estate Pros, LLC is one of the sponsors of the Festival. They provide estate personal property distribution, downsizing, and senior relocation services. The Estate Pros team of experienced, licensed and bonded professionals help families organize, handle, and sort through a loved one’s personal possessions after a move, illness, or death.
Both of these talks are free. More details about times and locations here.
Cremation Committal Service
Did you know that you can bury cremated ashes in a cemetery? A free cremated remains committal service is one of the planned events at the Before I Die NM Festival, taking place on November 2 at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Albuquerque, NM and Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM.
As more and more Americans choose cremation, the demand for personalized committal services and scattering ceremonies for cremated ashes will also continue to rise. Darrell Hill, a festival sponsor and founder of EternityGardens.com, is looking forward to listening to stories from Before I Die NM Festival attendees to understand how individuals approach end-of-life planning considerations for themselves and their loved ones.
“In addition to choosing cremation, families must also decide on a final resting place for those cremated remains,” Hill says. “Holding the Committal Service during the Before I Die NM Festival is a good way to show people that there are many options for handling cremated ashes, and cemeteries have a lot to offer families looking for customized celebration of life services.”
The committal service is free but participants must make arrangements and deliver the remains to the cemeteries by October 31. Call Mt. Calvary in Albuquerque at 505-243-0218 or Rosario in Santa Fe at 505-983-2322.
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos
Another fun event planned for attendees at the Before I Die NM Festival is the Dia de los Muertos party in Sunset Memorial Park Pavilion on October 31. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a multi-day Mexican holiday where families remember and honor their loved ones by visiting cemeteries and placing food offerings at the grave site of the deceased. Celebrate this special holiday while attending the Festival by bringing photos of those you love who have died, both people and pets, for a communal remembrance.
Dinner and drinks included in ticket cost ($25).
Get Tickets Now
Don’t miss out on all the great events at the Before I Die NM Festival – register online here. Attendees at all events can register to win two full body burial plots at La Puerta Natural Burial Ground near Belen, New Mexico’s first Green Burial Council certified cemetery, and other prizes. For more information, download Whova (the Before I Die Festival app) to check out the agenda and engage with other participants online: Before I Die NM (password: newmexico). See you in New Mexico!