Funeral Directors & Cemeterians Highlight Before I Die Festival Events

Oct 16, 2020 | 0 comments

Funeral directors and cemeterians highlight several of the 26 live events being held during the 4th annual Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival. The online event takes place October 30 to November 2, 2020, with tickets available at

People in the funeral and cemetery businesses need to be a part of these conversations.

Friday, Oct. 30: Where the Bodies are Buried

Non Sequitur cartoon

There are people who are successfully operating cemeteries in a changing environment. In this panel discussion, learn about new approaches to cemetery use, creative community outreach, and income enhancements. Join these cemeterians for a discussion at 12:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. CDT/10:00 a.m. MDT/9:00 a.m. PDT:

Millenial Mortician panel
L to R: Millennial mortician panelists at the 2018 Festival (in-person) Michael Garcia, Christine Garcia, Aaron War and Jody Herrington

Sunday, Nov. 1: Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews

Join in this lively discussion with young funeral professionals. They’ll provide a fresh perspective on the business of dying. Join the discussion at 7:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. CST/5:00 p.m. MST/4:00 p.m. PST. Panelists include:

Monday, Nov. 2: Funeral Directors’ Experiences in COVID Hot Spots

Funeral Directors Syd Waldman, Houston, and Amy Cunningham, New York City
Funeral Directors Syd Waldman, Houston, and Amy Cunningham, New York City

Funeral directors Amy Cunningham with A Fitting Tribute in New York City and Syd Waldman with Waldman Funeral Care in Houston share their experiences at the peak of coronavirus deaths in their cities. Join the discussion at 2:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. CST/12:00 p.m. MST/11:00 a.m. PST. Among the topics we’ll examine:

1. Streamed funerals and Zoomed memorial events are stronger than ever, with some surprising advantages.
2. New strategies on getting the life story told, which is increasingly important: video slide shows of the life, memorial books with recipes, life wisdom and photos, and other activities.
3. Outdoor gatherings may be the preference for next couple of years in some areas, strengthening the case for choosing burial gravesides.
4. More folks are signing their end-of-life directives and making funeral plans in advance. Death used to be something we didn’t want to talk about, now it seems it’s all we discuss!

Sessions on Funerals and Memorial Services

On Friday, October 30, we’ll have two sessions about new trends in online memorial services and making meaningful funerals.

Keeper Logo

3:30 p.m. EDT/2:30 p.m. CDT/1:30 p.m. MDT/12:30 p.m. PDT Join “How to Hold a Virtual Memorial Service” with Mandy Benoualid, President of Keeper. She will share how her family put together a virtual memorial service for her grandmother, who died of COVID-19 earlier this year. She will also provide a PDF guide with great information.

I Want a Fun Funeral logo

5:00 p.m. EDT/4:00 p.m. CDT/3:00 p.m. MDT/2:00 p.m. PDT “Raising the Bar on Our Funeral Traditions” with Kyle Tevlin, founder of I Want a Fun Funeral. It’s time to take our goodbye celebrations up a notch. And that doesn’t mean a great photo montage. It means getting involved, rolling up your sleeves, and honoring and celebrating with all that you’ve got. With this new vision, you’ll never see funerals the same way again. Learn how to help people create deeply meaningful and unforgettable goodbye celebrations.

Get Your Tickets Today!

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Festival Sponsors

2020 Festival Sponsor Logos

Thank you to these sponsors of the Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival:

A portion of the sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales from the Before I Die NM Virtual Festival will be donated to these 501(c)(3) charitable partners:

A Good Goodbye