News and Notes: The Day After Groundhog Day

Feb 3, 2015 | 0 comments

Groundhog Day 6:00 amThe 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, an arrogant, self-centered weatherman who relives the same day over and over again until he learns some valuable life lessons. Since yesterday was the day Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter, at least we can enjoy the life lessons the movie holds for us.

Groundhog Day Trailer HD

At first, when Phil realizes no matter what he does, he returns to the same day, time and place, unscathed and unchanged, he starts doing all sorts of outrageous acts. He behaves and eats badly. He kills himself in a number of creative ways. He says rude things about the groundhog and people.

Groundhog Day: Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell

Groundhog Day: Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell

But when he starts to fall in love with his TV producer Rita Hanson, played by Andie MacDowell, he reassesses his priorities and begins to make changes for the better. He uses what he knows about the rhythm of the same day repeating over and over again to do good and learn to be a better person.

He saves people and pets from harm, learns to play the piano and speak French, and gradually focuses more on wooing Rita. Phil takes interest in a homeless man, who ends up dying on that day, no matter what he does, including performing CPR and taking him to the emergency room. The spell is finally broken when Phil ceases to be a jerk.

The lesson here is that to change your world and your life, you need to change yourself from within. Your circumstances don’t change until you change. It’s a message spiritual masters have delivered for eons. Groundhog Day just delivers that message in a fun, entertaining way.

If you know of organizations in Orlando, Florida or San Antonio, Texas that might like to sponsor an educational, fun outreach event with films, let’s talk! I’ll be at conferences in Orlando March 19-20 and in San Antonio April 8-11. While “in the neighborhood,” I would love to present upbeat film clip talks on end-of-life issues: how to have good doctor-patient-family conversations, key issues regarding estate planning and funeral planning, or recognizing the many faces of grief. Estate planning attorneys, hospices, funeral homes, cemeteries, churches/synagogues, and other organizations can benefit from holding these community outreach events. Click to download a list of film-illustrated talks. Thanks for your consideration!

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

Click on the titles to read the blog post. Review all posts on The Family Plot Blog.

Nationwide Super Bowl Ad on Child Death Disturbs Viewers: What was the ad agency and their client thinking?

These blog posts by Gary Newman, maven of finances related to end-of-life issues, provide a wealth of information everyone needs to know NOW!

Funeralities Realities Part 1 deals with all of the decisions that need to be made when a Loved One dies, and how planning ahead lessens stress.

Funeralities Realities Part 2 examines the new look of memorial services, ways to alert family and friends, and key elements of estate follow-up duties.

Funeralities Realities Part 3 explains the pros and cons of pre-need funeral planning and the financial instruments available to help pay for end-of-life inevitabilities.

Aid-in-Dying Advocate Shares Her Story reports on the talk Barbara Mancini gave recently in Albuquerque. On February 13, 2013, she was arrested for giving her terminally ill father his vial of prescription morphine, which he had requested and promptly drank. It was the hospice nurse who called the cops.

Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote

Saturday, February 21, 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 Gail [at] for address and directions.

Tuesday, March 10, 8:00 a.m. to noon: The Financial Planners Association of New Mexico annual meeting hosts Gail Rubin presenting “Estate Planning, Hollywood Style,” featuring film clips illustrating issues around wills, inheritance, pet trusts and funeral planning.

Tuesday, March 10, 3:00 p.m.: Osher Lifelong Learning at UNM Continuing Education hosts Gail Rubin presenting “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” Having a serious healthcare conversation with your doctor takes effort to ensure clear communications. Learn how to ask questions and be involved in treatment decisions by watching dramatic and comedy films depicting doctor-patient conversations. Also, watch examples of patient-family interactions for tips on improving family communications around serious diagnoses.

Sunday, March 15, 11:00 a.m.: The Journey Santa Fe speaker series features Gail Rubin speaking on Going Green with Your Final Arrangements. Topics will include green burial, the carbon footprint of cremation, Jewish burial and what you need to know NOW before there’s a death in the family. The free event is open to the public and takes place at Collected Works book store, 202 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe.

March 19-20: Gail to attend and speak at the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Fusion Collaboration in Orlando, Florida. She’ll be using film clips to illustrate estate planning issues.

April 8-11: Gail is in San Antonio, Texas for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention and the conference of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).

A Good Goodbye