Gail Rubin Shares Her Best 2019 Highlights

Dec 25, 2019 | 1 comment

Joyous Solstice, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! This is an electronic version of Gail Rubin’s holiday letter, a roundup of highlights from 2019. And it’s got links to the videos and posts mentioned!


Gail presented a DEAD talk at the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s (ICCFA) Winter Sales Conference. You can see “Your Customers are Discussing Death, Where are You?” on YouTube. Dave stayed home and took care of the cats, Ilsa and Yvonne. He continues to work three days a week at the Blue Eagle Metaphysical Emporium.

Gail Rubin DEAD Talk


2019 Women of Influence logo

Gail spoke at the Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization’s annual conference in Dallas. Dave cat sat. She returned in time to be one of 20 women to receive the 2019 Women of Influence Award from Albuquerque Business First. Dave came to the awards luncheon, which was attended by 750 people.


Gail and Dave made their 8th trip to Nederland, Colorado for the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days Festival. Twelve hundred people came to see the documentary “Grandpa’s in the TUFF Shed” and play The Newly-Dead Game®, Couples and Individual Editions. Here’s a video of Gail and Dave putting together a bamboo coffin from Passages International. We’ll be returning again for the March 13-15, 2020 Festival!

Assembling a Bamboo Coffin
2019 KIP Award Logo


Gail undertook an epic week of travel – Three days to present talks in the Washington, D.C. area; two days at the ICCFA convention in Charlotte, NC to receive the Keeping It Personal (KIP) Award for the 2018 Before I Die New Mexico Festival; and two days in Miami, FL for niece Dianne’s wedding to Geoffrey. After cat sitting, Dave met up with Gail in Miami. The wedding was a beautiful affair.


Gail prepared for the first one-day Before I Die Festival in Bakersfield, CA. It was a big success, with 150 in attendance at the Greenlawn Funeral Home and Cemetery, lots of great press coverage, and a satisfied client. Dave stayed home and took care of the cats.

Shelly and Ruth Rubin 65th anniversary
Shelly and Ruth Rubin on their 65th anniversary cruise.


Gail and Dave joined the immediate family for an epic river cruise to celebrate parents Shelly & Ruth Rubin’s 65th wedding anniversary. The boat went from Memphis to New Orleans on the Mississippi. It was a spectacular trip. Hired sitters took care of the cats.


Gail became president of the National Speakers Association New Mexico chapter and attended the national convention in Denver. Dave was still on cat duty.


Gail Rubin speaking at La Paz Faith Center in El Paso, TX, August 16, 2019
Gail Rubin speaking at La Paz Faith Center in El Paso, TX, August 16, 2019.

Gail was scheduled to do a one-day Before I Die event with Perches Funeral Homes in El Paso, TX on August 17. The August 3rd mass shooting at a Walmart there changed some plans. She witnessed the incredible outpouring of sympathy from the community and the world for the last funeral of the 22 victims. She gave a speech, “Rise Again El Paso,” to help uplift the community. An overwhelming 1,000 flower arrangements were delivered to the La Paz Faith Center where Gail spoke. She got to ride in one of the 22 hearses that took those flowers to the makeshift Walmart memorial on Sunday morning. Read more about it here. Dave took care of the cats.


In preparation for the 3rd annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, Gail filmed a funny short promo video (two versions available on YouTube) and made a cameo appearance as a waitress in a diner. Dave helped prepare for the Festival with his graphic design skills.

2019 Before I Die NM Festival Funny Ad


In another epic week of travel, Gail went to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) convention in Chicago and the Before I Die Arizona event in Phoenix. In Chicago, five strangers at the NFDA convention said, “You’re Gail Rubin! I’ve seen you on YouTube!” She was also called “The Joan Jett of Death Education.” View the videos she’s been posting from the expo. Dave and the cats, still going strong.


Gail Rubin and Erika Lohr at Dia de los Muertos celebration at Fairview Memorial Park
Gail Rubin and Erika Lohr at the Dia de los Muertos Celebration at Fairview Memorial Park.

The 3rd annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival was a big success. About 1,800 participants attended 37 events in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Espanola and Taos. Gail was at every event and made it through still standing. Videos of speakers and panel discussions are now appearing here on the Festival’s blog. Dave minded the cats while she was out of town.

December: Gail’s staying home and writing an online continuing education course called “New Trends in Death Care” for Funeral CE. She’s also writing two new books for release in 2020.

Dave’s preparing for another year of cat-tending and still working at the Blue Eagle. Looking back at this year, we did a lot! Wishing you a healthy, prosperous, fun New Year.

The truth that doesn’t get told in a holiday letter.
A Good Goodbye