Vermont Funeral Consumers Alliance Talk May 4

Apr 28, 2013 | 0 comments

I’m speaking this coming Saturday, May 4 at the annual meeting of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Vermont with funny funeral planning films. A nice article just came out in the Valley News in neighboring Lebanon, New Hampshire. Here’s the beginning of the story, titled “The Funny Side of Death: A Conversation Starter” by Katie Beth Ryan:

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

Death and taxes, the two things said to be inevitable for everyone, are also the most dreaded, difficult and avoided topics of conversation.

Gail Rubin, who speaks at the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Vermont’s annual conference in Norwich on May 4, probably can’t help you with taxes. But the Albuquerque, N.M., resident and so-called “Doyenne of Death” might inspire you to confront mortality with a dose of humor.

Her talk, titled “Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films to Start Serious Funeral Planning Conversations,” incorporates clips from movies such as The Big Lebowski and Undertaking Betty to get people laughing and help spur that all-important but oft-delayed funeral planning discussion.

“There are so many choices to make that if we don’t talk about it, you leave your family in a lot of trouble. You’ve got stress in a time of grief. You’ve got family conflict. And you might end up with some kind of ritual that doesn’t mean anything to anyone,” Rubin said this week in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where she was attending the Association for Death Education’s annual conference. “The benefits are many of planning ahead and talking.”

One of her favorite aphorisms, Rubin added, is that “talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, and talking about funerals won’t make you dead.”

The FCA-Vermont holds its annual conference at a different location in the state each year. This year, it will be held at the Norwich Congregational Church thanks to Annie Ross, a West Fairlee resident who sits on the board of FCA-Vermont. Rubin’s visit to the conference comes after she won over the crowd at the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts’ annual meeting last fall. By injecting humor into an afternoon dedicated to end-of-life matters, “we’re hoping a lot of new people will come who have thought that funeral planning is the last thing in the world they want to talk about,” said Mary Alice Bisbee, the outreach coordinator at FCA-Vermont.

Read the entire story at the Valley News website.

A Good Goodbye