News and Notes: NFDA Coverage to Come!

Oct 7, 2014 | 0 comments

NFDA logoNext week, the Greatest Funeral Show on Earth opens in Nashville, Tennessee. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) expo offers the biggest collection of goods and services related to funerals, memorials, cremation and end-of-life you’ll ever see. I’ll be there to document interesting new developments on display. Look for YouTube videos and blog posts in the Tools of the Trade category of The Family Plot Blog (you can also check out postings from past funeral expos). The NFDA expo runs from October 13 to 15, 2014.

The 15th annual Create A Great Funeral Day (CAGFD) is on Thursday, October 30 – appropriately scheduled right before Halloween. After all, before ghosts can go haunting, someone’s got to die. The idea behind Create A Great Funeral Day is to have a conversation with your loved ones about what you might want for your bon voyage party, before someone dies, to reduce stress on top of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and have a “good goodbye.” Here’s some background and a short interview with CAGFD founder Stephanie West Allen. You can also read related stories I wrote about CAGFD in the October issues of ICCFA Magazine, Mortuary Management and Funeral Business Advisor.

AGG Funeral Radio logoThe revitalized Internet radio show, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, is now available on Each prerecorded podcast show is about 20 minutes in length – perfect for listening during a workday commute!

The first program features an interview with Gale O’Brien, author of Transformation: Creating an Exceptional Life in the Face of Cancer. Next up is an interview with funeral directors Kenneth McKenzie and Todd Harra, co-authors of Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid. Another upcoming guest will be Caitlin Doughty, the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube sensation who was on A Good Goodbye Radio last year. She has a new book out called Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory.

In my last News & Notes message, I said I would write a blog post about Mortality Salience and Dr. Ernest Becker’s Terror Management Theory as it applies to people’s general avoidance of planning for end-of-life issues (funeral planning, estate planning and advanced medical directives). It took a while, but here it is: Mortality Salience and End-of-Life Planning Avoidance.

Links to new videos, upcoming events and a funny 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®

New Videos on YouTube

Gail at Jardineros Talk

Gail Rubin, CT, speaking at Jardineros de Placitas

Jardineros de Placitas, a women’s group in the nearby town of Placitas, hosted my talk, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. Even knowing the topic, lots of ladies turned out for a presentation with plenty of laughter and lots of good information shared. Check out the 52 minute talk.

I recently got to talk to students in Dr. Kris Roush’s Death and Dying class at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). Here’s video of my speaking, minus the film clips in Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films for Funeral Planning. (38 minutes)

After I took my 84-year-old parents on a Breaking Bad tour of filming sites around Albuquerque, the local CBS affiliate KRQE-TV did a story about their binge-watching of the series. They are so cute!

Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 12 to Wednesday, October 15: Gail Rubin reports on the National Funeral Directors Association’s annual convention and expo in Nashville, TN.

Tuesday, October 21, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: At the Brookdale Place at Valencia Health Fair, 300 Valencia Dr SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. Phone: 877-925-1037

Wednesday, October 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: At the Uniting New Mexicans Against Adult Abuse conference, Gail Rubin presents the CEU talk, “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?”

Thursday, October 23, 4:30 p.m.: As the president of the Jewish-Christian Dialogue of New Mexico, Gail Rubin facilitates a talk by Dr. Aroop Mangalik on “Discussing Religious Aspects to End-of-Life Decision-Making.” Dr. Mangalik is an oncologist who is one of the plaintiffs in the New Mexico physician aid-in-dying lawsuit. Contact Gail at 505.265.7215 if you are interested in attending.

Saturday, October 25, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Albuquerque Death Cafe 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!

Monday, October 27, 10:00 a.m.: Gail Rubin presents “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” at the McLeod YMCA, on Comanche near Tramway Blvd., Albuquerque. This one-hour film clip-illustrated talk focuses on how to have good doctor-patient-family conversations in the face of a serious diagnosis. Contact Holly Brown at 934-6768 for more information about attending this free talk.

“I got a coupon in the mail: Ash Burial at Sea, $478. What an affordable way to die. The only thing is, I don’t want my ashes scattered at sea. I want them thrown on all the people who have ever blown smoke in my face. Let’s see if their dry cleaners can get that out.” — Cathy Ladman


A Good Goodbye