What is a Before I Die Festival?
Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement to foster reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying. By providing space and opportunities to openly discuss end-of-life issues, we can improve the percentage of those who plan ahead and take actions to address our mortality.
Due to the pandemic, the 4th annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival will be held online as a virtual, safe experience. The four days of death-positive conversations and experiences will take place online October 30 to November 2, 2020. Learn more and register here.
The Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival has entertaining and educational elements. These include virtual field trips with prerecorded videos, daily online theater and movie events, book and panel discussions, and Death Cafe conversations.
Before I Die New Mexico Virtual Festival events include:
- Daily Death Cafe conversations about mortality issues and questions
- Behind-the-scenes virtual video tours of funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries and other interesting locations
- Lively panel discussions such as:
- “Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews” (BYOB),
- “Funeral Directors on Working in Coronavirus Hot Spots,”
- “Prospects for Medical Aid-in-Dying in New Mexico,”
- “How COVID-19 Impacts Native American Funerals,”
- “Managing Our Loved Ones’ Possessions Before and After They Die,”
- “Where the Bodies are Buried,” all about cemeteries
- Daily book discussions with authors on a range of end-of-life topics
- Speakers and workshops on planning ahead, advance healthcare directives, and the “woo-woo” side of life and death
- Online live theater performances of short one-act plays related to mortality written by Los Alamos playwright Robert Benjamin.
Tickets range from $20 for a one-day pass, $50 for all four days, and $100 for the VIP Experience, including a virtual Day of the Dead/Halloween party.
Learn more about the Before I Die NM Festival here.
Why Have a Death Discussion Festival?
We’re all going to die, yet less than 30% of adults do any end-of-life planning: wills or trusts, advance medical directives or pre-need funeral planning. It’s better to talk about our wishes well before death becomes a grim reality and our loved ones can be informed.
Before I Die NM appeals to baby boomers who are beginning to face their own mortality. The festival also provides the opportunity to engage younger generations on end-of-life issues. Sponsors connect to participants through this unique experiential festival that educates, excites and fosters planning for the inevitable.
Part of the proceeds from Before I Die NM ticket sales and sponsorships will be donated to two charitable partners, both based in Albuquerque, NM: Fathers Building Futures and Historic Fairview Cemetery.
Fathers Building Futures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise that empowers formerly incarcerated parents. They provide on-the-job workforce training and supports to enable sustainable futures for these people and their families. They make all-natural pine caskets, wooden urns, and handmade gifts in their workshop. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations. To learn more, visit their website, www.FathersBuildingFutures.com.
Historic Fairview Cemetery, founded in 1881, is managed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to share the history of Albuquerque and New Mexico through the lives and deaths of approximately 12,000 people buried there. Learn more at their website, www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.
Thank you to our 2020 Festival Sponsors:
- A Good Goodbye – Gail Rubin puts the “fun” in funeral planning. AGoodGoodbye.com
- AFTR – a new way to stay connected with loved ones, anytime, anywhere. AFTR.live
- AquamationInfo.com – learn about alkaline hydrolysis, an eco-friendly, alternative to flame cremation.
- Compassion & Choices – Compassion & Choices in New Mexico educates and empowers New Mexicans to chart their own end of life journey. Learn more at www.CompassionandChoices.org
- Daniels Family Funerals & Cremations, Fairview Memorial Park, Gabaldon Mortuary and Vista Verde Memorial Park in Albuquerque; Avista Cremation & Burial in Santa Fe; DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory in Espanola and in Taos.
- EstatePros LLC – offering professional dispersal of personal possessions due to a move, illness or death. EstateProsNM.com
- French Funerals & Cremations and Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque.
- Keeper – keeping memories alive with online tributes to preserve, celebrate and share life legacies. MyKeeper.com