Got back to Albuquerque last night after a successful trip to Colorado for Frozen Dead Guy Days (FDGD) and the community outreach talk “Laughing in the Face of Death” held at Carroll-Lewellen Funeral and Cremation Services in Longmont. The chapel at the funeral home was packed with about 65-75 people, everyone enjoyed the film clips and they learned a lot!
Approximately 690 people watched the documentary “Grandpa’s in the TUFF SHED” on Saturday and Sunday in the Black Forest Restaurant. The 25-minute film tells the weird but true story of how Norwegian Bredo Morstoel became the Frozen Dead Guy at the center of this wild and wacky festival.
The reason I ask if you read Norwegian is because I was interviewed and photographed by Sidsel Hvaal, a reporter with Budstikka, a newspaper in Norway. She came to the United States to do a story about the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival. Here’s a sample headline: Nedkjølt kvinne tatt hånd om på Snarøya. Any idea what that means? The story hasn’t appeared yet.
Bredo’s daughter Aud and grandson Trygve used to live in Nederland, Colorado, but they were deported back to Norway in 1994. They have been sending money to keep Grandpa encased in dry ice ever since. This reporter told me Aud and Trygve are living in a high-rise housing unit outside of Oslo. We wondered how much longer they would keep sending money for Grandpa’s dry ice habit.
Four couples signed up to play The Newly-Dead Game on Saturday. You can see the video online:
Many folks entered the drawing for fun FDGD stuff and A Good Goodbye goodies. The winner will be announced next week. Both The Newly-Dead Game and the movie showings were sponsored by Compassion & Choices and Carroll-Lewellen Funeral and Cremation Services.
Tomorrow on A Good Goodbye Radio, listen in on a fascinating conversation with Sandra Champlain, author of We Don’t Die: A Skeptic’s Discovery of Life After Death.
The next Albuquerque Death Cafe is this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Sheila’s Sweets, hosted by Joe Fulton and Susan Thomas. I’ll be competing that afternoon in the Toastmasters International speech competition with my talk titled “Laughing in the Face of Death.”
Top Tips From Last Week’s Show
On last week’s A Good Goodbye Radio show, my guest was Rosalyn Kahn, professional speaker and coach, discussing how to create memorable obituaries and eulogies. Here are a few helpful tips from that conversation.
- In obituaries, feel free to put the person’s personality into your writing. For some stellar examples, see the obits for Harry Stamps and Ivan H. Charbonneau that went viral.
- In eulogies, relate the person to the audience. Share the life lessons they learned through their own tribulations and the values that resonate from those stories.
- Consider building a eulogy on one-word descriptions that evoke imagery and connect a story to each word. For example, Rosalyn did a eulogy for her mother based on the words flora, food, friends and family.
- Don’t be afraid to include funny stories – laughter is good for the soul and evokes fond memories of the deceased.
- To quell nervousness when speaking, practice reciting out loud, not just reading what you think you want to say. Toastmasters International clubs provide a great opportunity for good feedback to improve speaking skills.
Upcoming Talks, Interviews and A Funny Quote
Click on the date for more information about each event.
March 19: A Good Goodbye Radio interview with Charles Cowling, author of the Good Funeral Guide, based in the United Kingdom, on the differences between funerals in the U.S. and the U.K.
March 20: Jewish Funeral Traditions talk to Congregation Albert Sisterhood, with funny film clips. The luncheon costs $12 for members, $14 for non-members. RSVP by Monday, March 17: 505-883-1818, extension 3016.
March 21: The Viking Funeral on Film Osher UNM Continuing Education talk. The class costs $19 and will be held at the Jubilee Active Adult Community, 720 Promenade Trail SW, Los Lunas.
March 26: A Good Goodbye Radio interview with Tom Antram, CEO of FRENCH Funerals-Cremations, on changes in the funeral business.
“You have to live to be old, really very old, and even far too old. This gives you the pleasure, over the years, of seeing those who make fun of you buried.” — Jean Dutourd