News and Notes: Mortality Salience

Aug 4, 2014 | 0 comments

Just returned from Colorado and attending the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Rendezvous, a remarkable two days of collaborative dialogue, keynotes, and breakout sessions with a host of professionals exploring best practices for legacy families and families in business.

I presented “Estate Planning, Hollywood Style,” a collection of mostly comedy film clips that illustrated issues related to wills: if you die without a will, or haven’t updated it in a while, or if a crazy girlfriend shows up with a hand-written, holographic will claiming all your worldly possessions. We also had some fun with a 1969 VW Beetle commercial and a surprise video from the deceased at the lawyer’s office in the film Eulogy.

One of the leading scholars in the field studying Dr. Ernest Becker’s Terror Management Theory was at the Rendezvous. Tom Pyszczynski and Molly Maxfield with the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs presented “The Role of Death in Life: Implications for End-of-Life Planning.” They showed how “mortality salience,” awareness of death and the knowledge that we will die, plays a major role in human attitudes and actions. I’ll be doing a post at The Family Plot Blog soon with more details about this fascinating presentation.

It’s a busy week for talks, both in Albuquerque and Dallas, and there’s an ABQ Death Cafe this weekend! Upcoming events and a humorous quote follow. Please call me at 505.265.7215 if I can be of assistance!

Gail Rubin, funeral expert and Celebrant

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

Live long and prosper,

Gail Rubin, CT
Certified in Thanatology:
Death, Dying and Bereavement
The Doyenne of Death®

Upcoming events with Gail Rubin, CT

Tuesday, August 5, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  Last call for this Albuquerque OASIS presentation – “We Can Do That? New Trends in Death Care.” The modern funeral is changing. Learn about aid-in-dying, rising cremation rates, green burial, DIY/home funerals, alkaline hydrolysis, QR codes and celebrant-led services in this upbeat, fact-filled talk. Register for $8 with OASIS by calling 505-884-4529 (100 people are already registered!)

Wednesday, August 6 IN DALLAS  Gail Rubin presents at the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association’s 77th annual convention in Dallas. “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die” will show how comedy movie clips can open the door toward pre-need planning.

Thursday, August 7 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. IN DALLAS  Gail Rubin presents “Jewish Funeral Traditions on Film” at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven Road, Dallas, TX. Free to attend, contact Heather Cordova to register: 214-239-7125 or email HCordova [at] Sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance, Quraishi Law Firm, Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Cemetery, and Windsor Senior Living.

Saturday, August 9, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Albuquerque Death Cafe NEW LOCATION at Swiss Alps Bakery and Cafe, 3000 San Pedro NE, Suite F, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Phone: 505-881-3063. More information about the Death Cafe movement. Join the Meetup group!

Wednesday, August 20, 1:30 p.m. IN ABQ  Gail Rubin presents “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” at the New Mexico Conference on Aging at Isleta Resort and Casino, 11000 Broadway SE, Albuquerque. This one-hour film clip-illustrated talk focuses on how to have a good doctor-patient conversation in the face of a serious diagnosis.

In honor of the 1969 VW commercial: “If you want him to mourn, you had best leave him nothing.” — Marcus Valerius Martial

1969 VW Funeral spot
A Good Goodbye