News & Notes: Talks, Toastmasters and Traditions

Feb 25, 2014 | 0 comments

Toastmasters Logo The Toastmasters International speech competition can take a contestant all the way to the organization’s worldwide convention with thousands in attendance. The next convention will be in Kuala Lumpur this summer.

On Saturday, I took the first step toward that goal by winning at Albuquerque Challenge, my home club. My speech, “Laughing in the Face of Death,” now moves on to the area competition, to be held the afternoon of March 15.

But guess what? The next Albuquerque Death Cafe is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on March 15 (beware the Ides of March – Et tu, Brute?). Since I can’t be in two places at once, this Death Cafe will be hosted by Susan Thomas and Joe Fulton, Death Cafe regulars who know how to get the conversation started.

Yesterday, I gave a talk at Central New Mexico Community College with funny film clips on death education issues. The room was packed with students and teachers! A few comments from attendees:

—Rubin was an entertaining, knowledgeable and very useful speaker…attending this was a pleasure
—I found the lecture helpful in breaking the ice about how people need to think/talk about funeral planning and death…
—Gail Rubin was very informative, interesting and full of life!…
—her blouse is amazing! (it has skulls and roses)
—this presentation really brings to light how important it is that my whole family and I need to set up a plan while we still can…there is no time better than the present.
—I really liked how the speaker spoke in a more humorous way so that it (death) isn’t such a sad topic to talk about…
—I very much enjoyed the presentation…it allowed me to gain a new perspective on death.

You’ll be able to see this talk on my YouTube channel soon.

This week’s guest on A Good Goodbye Radio is Carole Brody Fleet, author of Widows Wear Stilettos and her new book, Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (and Beyond) the Grief of Widowhood. If you can’t tune in live online Wednesday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT, you can download the podcast after the show. Click for more information.

Top Tips From Last Week’s Show

On last week’s A Good Goodbye Radio show, Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge, resident minister of the Buddhist Church of Oakland, discussed Buddhist funeral traditions. Here are some interesting bits of information from that interview:

  •  Lighting incense at a Buddhist funeral is a gesture of honor and respect that creates a sacred space.
  • 99% of Buddhists are cremated, although some families will have a funeral with the body present prior to cremation.
  • Japanese-American funerals have Uketsuke Receptionists who collect sympathy cards and Koden from those attending the service. They may also address thank you cards on the family’s behalf.
  • Koden is a monetary offering given to the family of the deceased, often used to help the family pay the costs associated with the funeral. This hearkens back to earlier times during World War II when people were not as affluent.
  • Food and fruit brought to decorate the altar at a funeral was originally given to the monks who chanted and served the community.

 Download the podcast!

Upcoming Events, Interviews and a Humorous Quote

Click on the date for more details about each event.

Stay Frozen, My Friend! Frozen Dead Guy Days 2014

Stay Frozen, My Friend! Frozen Dead Guy Days 2014

March 5: A Good Goodbye Radio interview about writing a good obituary and delivering a moving eulogy. The guests are Marsha Thole, who teaches a workshop called “Your 15 Seconds of Fame–How to Write Your Own Obituary,” and Rosalyn Kahn, a professional speaking coach.

March 6: In Longmont, Colorado – Laughing in the Face of Death film clip talk at Carroll-Lewellen Funeral Home, 503 Terry Street, Longmont at 6:00 p.m.

March 7-9:  Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado – Gail conducts The Newly-Dead Game® and showing the documentary “Grandpa’s in the TUFF SHED” on Saturday and Sunday.

March 15: Albuquerque Death Cafe at Sheila’s Sweets, facilitated by Susan Thomas and Joe Fulton.

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” — Elbert Hubbard

A Good Goodbye