Each April, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) and the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) hold their conventions. As a member of both organizations, I’ve faithfully gone to both over the past few years.
They are usually a week or so apart in far flung cities, but this year, they are both April 8-11 in the same hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Whether fate or fluke, my travel budget is grateful.
I’ll be covering new developments on display at the ICCFA expo (check the Tools of the Trade posts at The Family Plot Blog) and learning the latest thinking in death education at ADEC. It’s a chance to earn continuing education credits to keep my Certification in Thanatology current. Diversity seems to be a theme at both gatherings. Interesting posts to come!
My speech at the Toastmasters International Speech Competition at the Division level won Bronze. Unless the first and second place winners drop out, that’s it for “Je Suis” in Toastmasters. But maybe the topic has a chance for the big stage at TEDxABQ… Take a look at the video of the speech and let me know what you think.
Highlights of some recent blog posts, upcoming events and a humorous quote follow. Please 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
New at A Good Goodbye – Cremated Remains Pendant Jewelry: As the U.S. cremation rate creeps up toward 50%, there’s a growing demand for reasonably-priced jewelry to hold cremated remains of loved ones. People can keep the ashes of their beloved people or pets close to the heart with these affordable and stylish stainless steel chamber pendants.
Announcing “Mortality Minute Radio Spots: How do you get people to pay attention to advertising about funeral planning and end-of-life issues without resorting to the old “it’s a gift to your loved ones” line? “Mortality Minute” opens a bold new advertising opportunity for businesses that need to reach local consumers.
The Many Faces of Grief and Mourning in Movies: Movies and television programs help us understand different reactions to loss. They show the different ways people express their grief – or don’t – and how the process of mourning can unfold toward a new reality without the deceased.
May 1 Symposium – A Beautiful Death: I’ll be facilitating largest Death Cafe event in the world to date on Friday, May 1 in Las Cruces at the New Mexico State University’s 2015 Dean’s Health Symposium, presented by the College of Health and Social Services. The theme of this free conference is “A Beautiful Death: What will you choose?” There will be a host of stellar speakers and workshops that focus on end-of-life care, advance directives and decision-making.
Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote
Tuesday, April 14, 10:00 a.m. to noon: Ashes to Ashes, Dust in Your Face: Cremation, Comedy and Creativity film clip illustrated talk at Osher Continuing Education at the University of New Mexico. Cremation is the fastest growing disposition method in the U.S. Watching funny and serious film clips, you’ll learn about what you need to know before there’s a death in the family, including choices to make and disposition options. Tuition $20. Register for class 19892 at the Osher website.
Thursday, April 16, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: The Elemental John Ford Western Film class at Osher Continuing Education at the University of New Mexico. John Ford was best known for his Westerns, many starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda and James Stewart. He incorporated specific elements into each film, scenes of which will be examined in this two-hour class. Tuition $20. Register for class 19981 at the Osher website.
Saturday, April 25, 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. Post a comment below to RSVP for address and directions.
Friday, May 1: Gail will be in Las Cruces, New Mexico to present and conduct the largest Death Cafe event to date, with 300 people at New Mexico State University’s College of Health and Socical Services daylong symposium on end-of-life issues. She will also present “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” on how to hold good doctor-patient-family conversations, in two afternoon break-out sessions.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” — Mark Twain