Death almost always seems to be a surprise. That’s why most people are woefully unprepared when it happens. The “Before I Die” – Bakersfield Festival, taking place on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Greenlawn Memorial Park Southwest in Bakersfield, will help people plan ahead for their 100% guaranteed mortality with a variety of death-discussion-friendly events.
Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, an award-winning author and TEDx speaker, is the featured presenter at the festival. In this video, she interviews Jim La Mar, President of Greenlawn Funeral Homes and Cemeteries about the “Before I Die” – Bakersfield Festival.
“This festival gives people a chance to find out everything they always wanted to know about death, funerals, cremation and burial but were always afraid to ask,” said La Mar. “We want to take the fear out of thinking about death and funerals and maybe even inject a bit of entertainment into the day.”
“Before I Die” Festivals and Death Café events are now cropping up around the country and drawing large numbers of attendees. The Bakersfield event will take place at Greenlawn Southwest, 2739 Panama Lane, Bakersfield on June 1 from 10 am to 7 pm. All events are free.
The day will conclude with a showing of the movie “Undertaking Betty,” a romantic – sometimes outrageous – comedy with a behind-the-scenes look at two funeral homes in a small Welsh village, featuring Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts and Christopher Walken. The film begins at 5 pm, and popcorn will be served!
The schedule of events includes these activities:
- “Death Café” conversation preceded by The Newly-Dead Game® that allows everyone in the audience to play along, answering questions about wills, final disposition preferences, advance medical directives, and thoughts on a final resting place. The game prompts questions and conversations in a fun, upbeat way.
- Outdoor “Mortuary Mall,” features caskets, urns, cremation jewelry, and other funeral/memorial products and services for attendees to examine and ask questions of knowledgeable staff.
- Crematory tour includes a talk by a cremation expert explaining the process and answering questions people have about scattering, environmental impact, creative things people do with cremated remains, and other issues.
- Mortuary tour takes guests into the “Authorized Personnel” areas of the mortuary to shine a light on what happens behind the scenes.
- Estate Planning and End-of-Life Issues: local estate planning experts and attorneys will answer people’s questions about the financial and legal aspects of planning ahead.
- “How Do You Want to be Remembered?” is a panel discussion on obituary writing, ideas on how to leave one’s life story for future generations and wording for memorial markers.
- “Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films for Funeral Planning:” Gail Rubin’s keynote speech incorporates comedy film clips to illustrate the importance and benefits of preneed funeral planning.
- “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Death **But Were Afraid to Ask” brings together a panel that includes a funeral director, a hospice caregiver, clergy and other experts to field questions from the audience.
- “The Woo-Woo Side of Death” features a fun conversation on ghosts, afterlife, near-death experiences and the paranormal.
- The full schedule of events is available online at www.GreenlawnM-C.com.
Food and refreshments will be available at the event.