Start a Conversation with Your Clothing

Apr 5, 2016 | 0 comments

Lola in cremation T-shirt

ABQ Death Cafe mascot Lola.

“All men (and women) are cremated equal.” It’s a bold statement, one that always prompts smiles and comments when I wear this black T-shirt out in public. Before now, when people asked where they could get their own shirt, there wasn’t anyplace I could direct them. Now there is, at

The shirt is available in Medium, Large and Extra-Large. It’s printed on hefty cotton that will withstand many trips through the washer and dryer. A great conversation-starter for death educators, funeral directors, cremationists, cemeterians and death positive folks, you can order it for $25 plus shipping.

Frozen Dead Guy Days

The Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Nederland, Colorado March 11-13 was a big success. More than 20,000 people converged on the mountain town of about 1,500 for this quirky festival with lots of music and outrageous events like coffin races, a parade of hearses, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests and much more.

The Newly-Dead Game TM logoMore than 700 people came to see my showings of the documentary, “Grandpa’s in the TUFF SHED,” which tells the weird true story of how Bredo Morstoel became the Frozen Dead Guy. It’s a must-do part of the weekend’s festivities, with a drawing for fun Frozen Dead Guy Days swag and other prizes. Congratulations to the winner, Pat Ambrosier of Almena, Kansas!

In addition to showing the film, I conducted The Newly-Dead Game® three times over the course of the weekend. All three games had four couples sign up to play and test how well they know their partner’s last wishes. Watch the Saturday 1:00 p.m. game (23 minutes) or the Sunday game (17 minutes). The camera died in the middle of Saturday’s 5:00 p.m. game, so there’s no video of that one!

Gail and Lola at workshop

Gail and Lola at the Laughing and Learning workshop.

A big thanks to our sponsors, Carroll-Lewellen Funeral & Cremation Services and Foothills Gardens of Memory in Longmont, Passages International, leaders in environmentally-friendly and green funeral products, and, an educational website about green funerals. More big thanks to Heflebower Funeral & Cremation Services and Seven Stones Botanical Gardens Cemetery for sponsoring the Laughing and Learning Workshop in Highlands Ranch prior to Frozen Dead Guy Days.

On to New Orleans!

Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s annual convention and expo April 13-16 in New Orleans. I’m already getting emails from vendors touting interesting new developments they’ll be showing at the expo. Look for Tools of the Trade posts at The Family Plot Blog in the coming weeks.

Links to recent blog posts and other upcoming events follow. Please call if I can be of assistance – 505.265.7215.

Live long and prosper,

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

Watch the TEDxABQ video!

The Family Plot Blog Highlights

Click on the titles to read the blog post and see the associated videos. Review all posts on The Family Plot Blog or view just the Death Cartoons posted on the blog!

Karen Ann Quinlan

Karen Ann Quinlan

Make March 31 “Right to Die” Day?  This day in history has two developments significant in the area of self-determination regarding medical extension of a patient’s life, also known as right-to-die.

A Good Goodbye TV Videos  Selected episodes of A Good Goodbye TV are now available on The Family Plot Channel on YouTube. You can get answers to your questions about pre-need funeral planning, cemeteries, cremation, green burial, pet loss, life celebrations and estate planning in the episodes now available. More online episodes to come!

Explaining Alkaline Hydrolysis on A Good Goodbye Radio  The latest episode of A Good Goodbye Radio on features an interview with Samantha “Sam” Seiber, biologist with Bio-Response Solutions, a leading provider of alkaline hydrolysis technology.

End-of-Life Thoughts from Stephen Jenkinson  Jenkinson, the author of Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, has a lot to say about death and dying.

Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote

See the Calendar page for a full listing of events.

ICCFA New Orleans logoApril 13 to 16 — Coverage of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention and expo in New Orleans!

May 18 — Presenting “Laughing in the Face of Death: Movies, Medicine and Mortality” as part of Grief Week events at the University of Michigan Medical School.

May 18 — Presenting “Jewish Funeral Traditions on Film” at the Ann Arbor Jewish Community Center.

June 19-22 — Presenting two continuing education classes and evening entertainment at the Alabama Funeral Directors Association Convention in Point Clear, Alabama.

“If Shaw and Einstein couldn’t beat death, what chance have I got? Practically none.” — Mel Brooks


A Good Goodbye