News and Notes: Communications and Change

Jun 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Death Tarot CardThe one constant in life is change. How you react to change as a positive or negative makes all the difference. Did you know the Tarot card for Death actually means change, transformation and transition? I’m preparing a new presentation, “Office Morale in the Movies: Communications and Change,” with funny film clips to illustrate. Applying concepts from thanatology (the study of death, dying and bereavement), we’ll explore ideas to inspire improved workplace communications and morale.

The newest episode of A Good Goodbye Radio on is “Let’s Talk About Death Cafes” with Lizzy Miles, the first person to host a Death Cafe in the U.S. (I was the second person to host). Listen to the 20-minute podcast. Because there are many presentations and trips coming up during June, the next Albuquerque Death Cafe will be held on July 11, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please call or email and let me know if you want to attend.

My new free eBook on making creative memorial services, Celebrating Life: How to Create Meaningful Memorial Services with Templates and Tips, is now available. It’s full of good information and you can download the 97-page eBook for free at this webpage. If you prefer, send me an email and I’ll send you the PDF. A print version of this book is in the works.

Mark your calendar to participate in the Qeepr #TalkDeath Roundtable on June 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET/noon PT. The panelists are Chris Raymond, current editor of’s Dying, Funerals & Grief website, and myself. This will be a live online YouTube conversation. Click here to learn more and submit your questions in advance. And check out Qeepr’s review of A Good Goodbye!

Feel free to call if I can be of assistance – 505.265.7215.

Live long and prosper,

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

The Family Plot Blog Highlights

Click on the titles to read the blog post. Review all posts on The Family Plot Blog or review just the Death Cartoons posted on the blog!

USPS Cremated Remains labelHow to Mail Cremated Remains  Did you know the U.S. Postal Service offers the only legal method of shipping cremated remains domestically or internationally? Here are 10 tips to do it right.

Funeral Home Gifts Cap Panels and Tribute Blankets  At the 2015 ICCFA expo, Funeral Home Gifts introduced casket cap panels to match their beautiful Tribute Blankets, expanding the range of personalization options funeral homes can offer their families.

The Living Urn Planting System  The Living Urn company introduced a growing system that ensures a healthy tree grows from the cremated remains.

Religious “Nones” and Celebrant Services  Americans who choose “none” as their religious affiliation have few rituals to guide them when a death occurs. Why the use of funeral celebrants is growing in the United States.

Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote

Qeepr #TalkDeath RoundtableWednesday, June 17 3:00 p.m. ET/2:00 CT/1:00 MT/noon PT  Qeepr #Talkdeath Roundtable discussion online – Gail teams up with Chris Raymond, former editor of The Director magazine and Death and Dying editor, in this live YouTube video discussion.

Friday, June 19 Catholic Charities “all hands on deck” staff meeting where Gail Rubin presents “Office Morale in the Movies: Communications and Change.”

Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24  Gail presents at the summer meeting of the New Hampshire Funeral Directors Association. She will lead two workshops, “Jewish Funeral Traditions on Film” and “The Funeral Director on Film.”

Wednesday, July 8, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presentation “The Many Faces of Grief: Mourning in the Movies.” Gail presents film clips that illustrate and lighten the conversation about different grieving styles, length of mourning, disenfranchised grief and other elements of thanatology, the study of death, dying and bereavement. $20 fee. Learn more and register at Osher’s web page.

July 29 to August 1  Gail reports on developments at the Cremation Association of North America’s convention and expo in San Diego, CA.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” — Steve Jobs

A Good Goodbye