The Family Plot Blog

Death and Humor on The Doyenne of Death Podcast, Part Three

Death and Humor on The Doyenne of Death Podcast, Part Three

Death and Humor: Laughing in the Face of Death In this episode of The Doyenne of Death® Podcast, host Gail Rubin continues her conversation with speaker and author Greg Bennick about the pioneering work of Ernest Becker, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Denial of Death. In part three of this conversation, Gail and Greg discuss death and humor, helping us to address the double bind of our existence. Listen to Part Three of the...

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Discussing Self Esteem and Death with Greg Bennick, Part Two

Discussing Self Esteem and Death with Greg Bennick, Part Two

On Self Esteem and Immortality In this episode of The Doyenne of Death® Podcast, host Gail Rubin continues her conversation with speaker and author Greg Bennick about the pioneering work of Ernest Becker, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Denial of Death. In part two of this conversation, Gail and Greg discuss self esteem, Becker's work related to the Terror Management Theory, the "Pearls Before Swine" cartoons of Stephan Pastis,...

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Doyenne of Death Podcast: Greg Bennick on Ernest Becker, Part One

Doyenne of Death Podcast: Greg Bennick on Ernest Becker, Part One

The Doyenne of Death Podcast Returns! After a hiatus of a year, The Doyenne of Death Podcast is back in production. In this episode, host Gail Rubin talks with speaker and author Greg Bennick about the pioneering work of Ernest Becker, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Denial of Death. In part one of this conversation, Gail and Greg discuss how he learned about Becker's mind-blowing theories about human cognition of our own...

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Navigating Loss: A Widow’s First Year Journey Through Grief and Healing

Navigating Loss: A Widow’s First Year Journey Through Grief and Healing

First Death Anniversary Grief When my husband David Bleicher died on April 28, 2023, I knew I'd be in for a year of grief, change and emotional turmoil. His sudden departure due to medical complications after what should have been a routine surgery left me grappling with a range of emotions and uncertainties. But in the midst of grief, I found ways to navigate the journey towards healing and resilience. Here are a few lessons I've learned over...

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Step Right Up: Video Explores Circus Cemetery Showmen’s Rest in Hugo, OK

Step Right Up: Video Explores Circus Cemetery Showmen’s Rest in Hugo, OK

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, to the circus cemetery! Welcome to the greatest show on earth... well, at least in eternal rest. Nestled in the charming town of Hugo, Oklahoma, lies a section of the Mount Olivet Cemetery that's truly one-of-a-kind – the Showmen's Rest. Prepare to be dazzled as we take a whimsical stroll through this unique final resting place! What makes the Showmen's Rest so special, you ask? Well, grab your popcorn...

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Pioneering Death Educator Gail Rubin Receives ADEC Community Educator Award

Pioneering Death Educator Gail Rubin Receives ADEC Community Educator Award

Albuquerque-based death educator Gail Rubin, CT, was recognized by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) with their prestigious Community Educator Award at the organization’s annual conference in Houston on April 11, 2024. ADEC’s Community Educator Award honors an individual in a non-academic setting with expertise in the field of thanatology, the study of death, dying and bereavement. The award recognizes excellence in...

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Two New Podcasts with The Doyenne of Death

Two New Podcasts with The Doyenne of Death

New Podcast Interviews with Gail Rubin Check out these new podcast interviews with Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death. The Money Without Math Podcast, hosted by Karen Coyne, CFP, explores how money intersects with the many aspects of our lives. The Heart of Hospice Podcast, hosted by Helen Bauer, BSN, RN, CHPN, tackles a wide range of topics related to hospice and end of life issues. MONEY WITHOUT MATH PODCAST Let's...

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Helpful Death Care Removal Tips for Funeral Homes

Helpful Death Care Removal Tips for Funeral Homes

Have you ever witnessed the removal of a loved one's body? I've had three experiences with funeral home teams navigating this sensitive time. In this article I wrote for the latest issue of Funeral Business Solutions, learn some helpful tips to improve the experience. See the full issue online here. Get a PDF of the story here: January 2024 FBS Death Care Removal Tips. Death Care Removal Tips by Gail Rubin Over the past two years, I have been...

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Making Funeral Arrangements After a Death in the Family

Making Funeral Arrangements After a Death in the Family

When my husband Dave died in April 2023, we had already made our funeral arrangements the previous year. I'm so glad we had. When it came time to finalize the arrangements, it was so much easier to complete, with less stress, given Dave's unexpected death. Dave died on a Friday evening. His brother Steven and I went to French Funerals to finalize funeral arrangements on Monday afternoon. We needed to coordinate setting the date with the funeral...

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How to Take Death out of the Hospital with Hospice Care

How to Take Death out of the Hospital with Hospice Care

Hospice enables people facing end-of-life to die at home, or at least in a supportive environment with as much comfort as possible. Unfortunately, about 35% of patients who go on hospice access this service less than seven days before dying. They are literally at death's door when they enroll. Even though 75% of Americans say they want to die at home, less than 25% of us do. The Southwest Regional Hospice and Palliative Care Symposium, taking...

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Helpful Tips to Improve Hospice Grief Follow-Up Calls

Helpful Tips to Improve Hospice Grief Follow-Up Calls

Medicare has ground rules for hospice organizations to get paid for providing services. One requirement is for the organization to provide a year of follow-up grief support to the closest “family” of the person who died. In my experiences with several hospice deaths over the past two years, the approaches for follow-up grief support could be improved. About three weeks after my friend Gary died on home hospice in October 2021, I got a call on...

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Help Expand Mortality Discussions by Supporting the Death Cafe Movement!

Help Expand Mortality Discussions by Supporting the Death Cafe Movement!

Gail Rubin was one of the first people in the United States to hold a Death Cafe in September of 2012. She spoke to London-based movement founder Jon Underwood over Skype in January, 2012, shortly after he held his first Death Cafe and launched the DeathCafe.com website. He was thrilled to be speaking with The Doyenne of Death® and sharing his insights about this nascent death discussion phenomenon. Even though Gail's motto is "Talking about...

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November 28: Gathering of Grief 100th Virtual Vigil with Reimagine

November 28: Gathering of Grief 100th Virtual Vigil with Reimagine

On Giving Tuesday, November 28 at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Reimagine is producing a special "Gathering of Grief," a landmark 100th virtual candlelight vigil, co-hosted with a number of other leading organizations - including A Good Goodbye - dedicated to helping people process loss and grief. If you've not been to a Reimagine vigil, this is the one to attend. This 90-minute virtual event, symbolizing our unified commitment to healthy...

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Highlighting Speakers at the 2023 Before I Die New Mexico Festival

Highlighting Speakers at the 2023 Before I Die New Mexico Festival

We’ve got an incredible line-up of speakers and activities at the 6th annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, October 16-21, 2023. Taking place at different locations each day around Albuquerque, there's something for everyone. Daily themes are: Money and Mourning; Aging and Mortality; Cremation and Burial; Greening Funerals; Discussing Death Won’t Kill You; and Murder and Mayhem. Selected sessions will be available on Zoom. Some highlights...

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Croak and Dagger Talk: I See Dead People

Croak and Dagger Talk: I See Dead People

Croak and Dagger, the New Mexico chapter of the Sisters in Crime mystery writers organization, welcomes The Doyenne of Death® Gail Rubin as the speaker at their September meeting. The meeting takes place this Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church at 3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE (at Carlisle and Comanche), Albuquerque, in the Wesson Room. The talk is free and open to the public. Gail Rubin's talk is titled, "I See Dead...

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Let’s Vote to Get Mattel to Create a Funeral Director Barbie!

Let’s Vote to Get Mattel to Create a Funeral Director Barbie!

There are at least 70 career Barbie dolls. They range from teachers to politicians, photographers to zoologists. But there is no funeral director Barbie! Funeral director Sarah Brown-Derbah is working to change this. "What I'm trying to do is convince Mattel to create a funeral director Barbie doll. Within the last 15-20 years, women have been representing over 70% of the classes in the mortuary science schools. I want little girls to see that...

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Video: Sheldon Rubin Jewish Funeral and Readings

Video: Sheldon Rubin Jewish Funeral and Readings

Conducting a funeral for my father was my toughest assignment yet as a Certified Funeral Celebrant. But I got through it without breaking down, and it was a good goodbye. My dad Sheldon Rubin died at the age of 93 on August 29, 2023 at an in-patient hospice in Boca Raton, Florida. Decades earlier, he had purchased burial rights for he and my mom in King David Memorial Gardens in Falls Church, Virginia. The plots are right next to his parents...

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Celebrating the Life of Sheldon Rubin

Celebrating the Life of Sheldon Rubin

Sheldon Rubin, the definition of a mensch, died at age 93 on August 29, 2023. As he joked so often, when the time came, he said, “Just carry me back to Ole Virginnie.” That’s where his burial plot is located, alongside his parents Benjamin and Dorothy Rubin, and next to his sister Muriel and her husband Arthur Cohen. Shelly was the devoted husband of Ruth for an amazing 69 years of marriage. He’s the loving father of Mitch Rubin and his spouse...

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Before I Die New Mexico Festival Celebrates Life while Preparing for Death

Before I Die New Mexico Festival Celebrates Life while Preparing for Death

The 6th annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival is set to take place in Albuquerque from October 16 to 21, 2023. This unique and thought-provoking event aims to foster a collective exploration of life's most meaningful aspirations and encourage open conversations about mortality, dreams, and the human experience. The festival invites people to reflect on their mortality and make their plans for end-of-life issues. The Before I Die New Mexico...

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Video: Cremated Remains Placement Ceremony

Video: Cremated Remains Placement Ceremony

How can you make a ceremony to place cremated remains in an ossuary? Here's an example for a scattering service, tailored to the life and personality of Gary Mayhew. The elements of this simple scattering service include: A description of Gary's commendable virtues. A few words from his good friend Rick Berthold. A reading: You Want a Physicist to Speak at Your Funeral. Satirical music by Tom Lehrer: Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, We Will All...

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Gail Rubin Discusses Jewish Death and Funeral Traditions August 6

Gail Rubin Discusses Jewish Death and Funeral Traditions August 6

Jewish Funeral Traditions Talk August 6 Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®, is a pioneering death educator who knows a lot about Jewish funeral traditions. She is a long-time member of the Chevra Kaddisha and the cemetery committee for Reform synagogue Congregation Albert. An award-winning speaker, she uses humor and film clips to break down resistance to planning ahead for end-of-life issues. She’s also the author of...

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A Good Goodbye