Consumers Need to Focus On Funerals

Feb 9, 2017 | 0 comments

Caskets with price tagsIf you’ve been avoiding the topic of pre-need funeral planning, you need to know about this week’s NPR investigative story focused on how difficult it can be to get a handle on funeral costs. The two-part series ran on All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Click here to access the stories through The Family Plot Blog.

It’s not that funeral establishments don’t want you to know what they charge for their services. My recent story, Eight Things Funeral Directors Want You to Know, featured great tips and was widely shared on the popular women’s website, Sixty and Me. Many thanks to Amy Cunningham, Jodi Clock, Joe Pray, Jamie Sarche, and Syd Waldman for their insights.

The next Albuquerque Death Cafe is scheduled for Sunday, February 19 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

Links to recent posts at The Family Plot Blog, upcoming events and a funny quote follow. Please call 505.265.7215 if I can be of assistance!

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®

The Family Plot Blog Highlights

Click on the titles to read the blog post and see the associated videos. Review all posts on The Family Plot Blog or view just the Death Cartoons posted on the blog!

Celebrating the History of African-American Funeral Traditions  In honor of February’s Black History Month, enjoy part one of this fascinating background about African-American funeral service traditions and how they evolved.

Introducing the “Dump-A-Drawer” Way to Declutter  Overwhelmed by clutter every time you open a drawer, a cabinet or a closet? Try Gail Rubin’s “Dump-A-Drawer” approach to decluttering!

Mary Tyler Moore Chuckles Funeral 2Mary Tyler Moore Plans Chuckles’ Funeral  Mary Tyler Moore’s recent death prompted an outpouring of loving tributes. Check out these scenes from the Emmy Award-winning episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” Available on, it’s an excellent way to get funeral planning conversations started with humor.

Why Include a Thanatologist in Your Circle of Life Experts?  Gary Newman, a regular columnist in the Myrtle Beach Sun News (a.k.a., wrote this column that included a favorable mention of my latest book, KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Upcoming Events and a Funny Quote

See the Calendar page for a full listing of events.

Gail Rubin, CT

Gail Rubin, CT, pioneering death educator and funeral expert

Friday, February 10, 2017, 1:00 p.m. — “Laughing and Learning: An End-of-Life Workshop” at the University of New Mexico, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Albuquerque, NM. Fee: $20. Register online for class 79681.

Sunday, February 19, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.— Albuquerque Death Cafe at Gail Rubin’s home. RSVP for address or join the Meetup Group.

March 10-12, 2017Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado, featuring The Newly-Dead Game and continuous showings of the documentary, “Grandpa’s in the TUFF Shed” on Saturday and Sunday.

Morris Hall logoSaturday, March 18, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. — Gail Rubin keynotes the Cancer Support Now conference in Albuquerque, NM. Her talk, titled “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die,” is sponsored by Morris Hall, PLLC, a premier estate planning law firm. Register for the daylong conference at

Wednesday, March 22, 2:30 p.m. — The University of New Mexico Retiree Association features Gail Rubin on “Kicking the Bucket List: Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die” at the UNM Continuing Education Center North Building.

Thursday, March 23, noon — Congregation Albert Open Mind luncheon series features Gail Rubin speaking on Downsizing and Organizing. Location: The Board Room at Congregation Albert, 3800 Louisiana Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM.

“I cheated on the final of my metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.” — Woody Allen



A Good Goodbye