News and Notes: Free eBook on Memorial Services

May 12, 2015 | 0 comments

Celebrating Life eBook coverAs a celebrant, over the past few months I’ve been working with the fine folks at In The Light Urns to write a 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.

Please download a copy and let me know what you think! I will be doing a print version of this book and would love to include your positive comments on the cover or inside pages.

The Dean’s Symposium at New Mexico State University, “A Beautiful Death… What Will You Choose?” was a resounding success. We had the largest Death Cafe in the world to date, with 400 participants discussing mortality issues over lunch. You can read about that and Peggy Battin’s keynote speech through links to The Family Plot Blog below.

Speaking of the Death Cafe, we have one scheduled in Albuquerque this Saturday afternoon. Please RSVP if you’d like to attend, and as always, don’t hesitate to call me at 505.265.7215 if I can be of assistance.

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!

NMSU Symposium a Big Success!  On Friday, May 1, 436 people registered to attend “A Beautiful Death… What Will You Choose?” The Dean’s Health Symposium was held by New Mexico State University’s College of Health and Social Services.

Peggy Battin

Philosopher and bioethicist, Peggy Battin

Peggy Battin on A Beautiful Death  Margaret “Peggy” Battin, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Ethics, at the University of Utah, presented the keynote speech at NMSU’s Dean’s Health Symposium.

CremainGem Makes Photos and Jewelry with Remains  I’ve seen lots of options for enshrining cremated remains, but making them into ceramic photo tiles is a new approach I hadn’t seen before.

Book Review: The Soul Sitter’s Handbook  If there’s a family member on hospice, before that terminally ill person dies, The Soul Sitter’s Handbook: What to do when your loved one is dying can be a great resource for both the family and the patient.

Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote

Saturday, May 16, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Albuquerque Death Cafe at Gail Rubin’s home. The objective of the Death Cafe is “To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.” It’s all about an interesting, unstructured conversation – open and free-flowing with no specific agenda. At these events, people come together in a relaxed, confidential and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea (or your favorite beverage) and eat delicious cake or cookies. RSVP to 505.265.7215 for address and directions.

OASIS LogoWednesday, May 20, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  OASIS Albuquerque presentation on “Religion and Funeral Traditions” at the OASIS offices, American Square Shopping Center, 3301 Menaul Blvd. NE, Albuquerque. The class is $8 plus a one-time $10 processing fee that makes you an OASIS member. The online catalog is open for registrations – look for class #88 – or call 505-884-4529 for more information.

Thursday, May 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Presbyterian Hospice volunteer luncheon where Gail presents the film clip-illustrated talk “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” on improving doctor-patient-family communications.

Friday, May 22, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.  Sandia Civitan meeting presentation at Le Peep Restaurant, 2125 Louisiana Blvd. NE.

Wednesday, 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 video discussion. The first Qeepr #Talkdeath event featured Caitlin Doughty from The Order of the Good Death & author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes And Other Lessons From The Crematory and Lauren LeRoy, a 25-year-old funeral director and creator of

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.

“I intend to live forever. So far, so good.” — Steven Wright

A Good Goodbye