The Latest “Before I Die” ABQ Festival Schedule

Before I Die ABQ logoThe inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival is scheduled for six days from Friday, October 20, 2017 to Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Events take place at multiple locations and venues around Albuquerque, New Mexico. REGISTER FOR EVENTS HERE.

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” festivals 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.

Festival events include educational and entertaining elements such as field trips, art, movies, panel discussions and Death Café conversations. An estimated 500 to 1,000 people will participate over the six days of events. Here is the current schedule of “Before I Die” festival events:

PREVIEW EVENT: Wednesday, October 11 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Death Café discussion and preview of festival events at the Palo Duro Senior Center, 5221 Palo Duro NE (just off San Mateo Blvd. north of Comanche).

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Friday, October 20

Caskets with price tags10:30 a.m. to noon – “What You Need to Know Before You Go” panel discussion with local funeral directors, in partnership with Oasis Albuquerque, held at 3301 Menaul NE, Suite 18, Albuquerque. Class registration through Oasis’ website is free. Description:

Got questions about funeral planning or cremation, but uncomfortable going to a funeral home before you “have to”? Attend this panel discussion with local funeral directors fielding your queries on everything related to undertaking. This class kicks off the inaugural “Before I Die” Albuquerque festival, five days of activities providing space and opportunities to openly discuss end-of-life issues, plan ahead and take actions to address our mortality.

Moderator: Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist, A Good Goodbye

Funeral Directors:

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  – Kickoff Party “Prelude to Eternity”

Come to the cemetery for an evening of food, drinks, music, and Death Over Dinner discussions in the Pavilion at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd. NE. Music provided by Cammy Cook, flautist and lyric soprano: www.CammyCook.com. Plus, we’ll have theatrical readings of the short plays RESTING PLACES and PLOTS by the Wrinklies on TourCost $25 per person.

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Saturday, October 21

Yoga Mountain Pose11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Yoga class “From Child Pose to Corpse Pose: Life, Death, Yoga and Spirituality,” in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico. Location: University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center, North Building, Auditorium, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque. Free to Osher members, or join Osher for $20 and get the class for free, register through Osher’s website. Description:

The breath of life is with us from the moment of birth until the moment of death. Yoga provides a way for us to understand this precious connection between our mortal, physical bodies and our immortal spirits. This gentle yoga class will emphasize breathing and deep relaxation, with guided meditation to help us appreciate our eventual mortality. Class teachers Swami Omkara and Shelley Drake lead seminars that prompt conversations about mortality issues.

Double Feature at The Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Avenue NE 

Noon: Harold and Maude (1971) cult classic comedy directed by Hal Ashby, starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort. Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

2:00 p.m. The Seventh Seal (1957) classic art house film directed by Ingmar Bergman, starring Max von Sydow. A weary Medieval knight seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

4:00 p.m. “How Do You Know if an Autopsy is Necessary?” Vidal Herrera, founder of private autopsy service 1-800-AUTOPSY, has more than 40 years of experience as a coroner investigator. He’ll talk about options for families when they have questions about a loved one’s death, and how to become a CSI investigator. Event Location: Cooper Art Studio, 130 Quincy NE. Free event.

2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art”

Mary Sharp-Davis urn

Urn by Mary Sharp-Davis

Local artists show and sell their work in ceramics, wood, and other materials, featuring artistic urns, garden sculpture urns for people and pets, and other mortuary art. This event, featuring free refreshments, will take place at the South Valley studio of Mary Sharp-Davis, 1911 Poplar SW, just off of Bridge and Goff.

Albucreepy logo8:00 p.m. Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk

The 100-minute Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk is an interactive exploration of Albuquerque’s haunted past. Experienced paranormal investigators will guide you past 1.3 miles of Albuquerque’s historic (and reportedly haunted) sites such as the KiMo Theater, the old Bernalillo County Courthouse, the Wool Warehouse, the former red light district known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” and more. $30 registration includes the tour and a beer, tour begins at the Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory at 219 Central Ave. NW, show up by 7:40. Reserve your tickets at  www.Albucreepy.com.

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Sunday, October 22

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Tour the historic section of Fairview Cemetery, established in 1881, with historian Susan Schwartz providing insights on famous and infamous residents. Location: 700 Yale Blvd. SE, Albuquerque. Video preview:

Noon — Double Feature at The Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Avenue NE –  Harold and Maude and The Seventh Seal

Noon to 4:00 p.m. “Earth, Air, Fire & Water: A Celebration of Cremation and Art” continues.

Doctor4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Making Plans to Live Well Until We Die: Part One,” in partnership with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico.

Location: University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center, North Building, 1634 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque. Class fee $20 with registration through the Osher website. Description:

Modern medicine can extend your life. Modern medicine can also extend your dying. You can control the extent of medical interventions by writing out your advance healthcare directives, naming a healthcare power of attorney, and knowing your options when end-of-life issues arise. This panel discussion answers the questions “What should we be talking about?” “When and how is the best way to discuss these issues?” and “Now what?”

The discussion will be moderated by Gail Rubin, CT, and feature these panelists:

  • Nancy Guinn, Medical Director of Presbyterian at Home and developer of the NM MOST form (Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment, a document designed to help healthcare providers honor the treatment wishes of their patients)
  • Jan Wilson, Compassion & Choices
  • Joan Gibson, The Conversation Project in New Mexico

6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Making Plans to Live Well Until We Die: Part Two” Register through Osher’s website.

The conversation continues with these panelists:

  • Aroop Mangalik, retired oncologist and author of “Dealing with Doctors, Denial, and Death”
  • Stacy Sacco, lecturer at UNM Anderson School of Management and TEDxABQ speaker
  • Shelley Drake, a death educator living with cancer

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Monday, October 23

Wood Caskets

Wood caskets built by Fathers Building Futures

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. “Mindfulness, Mortality and Self-Care” with Ralph Steele. Ralph Steele is the founder of Life Transition Meditation Center in Santa Fe, where he serves as the guiding meditation teacher. He is also the Founder of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Hospice Training Program at Northern New Mexico Community College. He will sign his book, Tending The Fire. Event Location: Cooper Art Studio, 130 Quincy NE. Donations welcome.

Noon: Lunch and tour of the casket building workshop of Fathers Building Futures, a nonprofit organization that provides employment and skills to formerly incarcerated parents. The workshop is located at 4301 4th Street NW, Albuquerque. Free event.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Death Café discussion at the North Valley Senior Center, 3825 4th Street NW (two blocks north of Candelaria, and just south of Fathers Building Futures). Come discuss what’s on your heart or mind about mortality issues. Free event.

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “Answers to Your Burning Questions on Cremation” with Ken Gonzales from The Neptune Society and Gail Rubin with A Good Goodbye presenting comedy film clips about cremation at Rio Bravo Brewery, 1912 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque. Free event.

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Tuesday, October 24

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Death Café discussion at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center, 7521 Carmel Ave. NE. Come discuss what’s on your heart or mind about mortality issues. Refreshments provided at this free event.

3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tour of the Office of the Medical Investigator laboratories, where New Mexico’s true life CSI teams help provide the answers about deaths in our state. Free event, limited to 30 people by online registration only.

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. “Jewish Burial Equals Green Burial.” Get your questions about green burial and Jewish funeral traditions answered at this special event hosted by the Jewish Federation of New Mexico at the Jewish Community Center, 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Albuquerque. Speakers will address green burial in New Mexico, kosher caskets, shroud burial, and why Jewish funeral traditions are eco-friendly. A demonstration of the tahara ritual by the Chevra Kaddisha will be included. Refreshments will be provided at this free event.

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE.

Wednesday, October 25

Noon to 2:00 p.m. Panel discussion on “What You Need to Know Before You Go: Financial Issues” at the Horn Family YMCA, 4901 Indian School Road NE, in the downstairs Technology & Teen Center. A potluck lunch is included in this free event. Speakers include:

  • Jim Plitz, attorney with the Morris Hall estate planning law firm
  • Steve Margulin, CFP® with Retirement Extender®
  • Tracy Ahr, attorney Lasting Legacy, Inc.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. “Money and Taxes Around an Uncertain Life Expectancy” presentation by Steve Margulin with Retirement Extender® at the Horn Family YMCA, 4901 Indian School Road NE, in the downstairs Technology & Teen Center.

7:00 p.m. – Closing celebration with a movie and a beer at Rio Bravo Brewery, 1912 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque. Movie will be a comedy involving funerals. Vote for your choice here. Free event (buy your own beer).

REGISTER FOR ALL EVENTS HERE

Festival Sponsors

Before I Die ABQ Festival sponsors include:

The festival is being held in partnership with the nonprofit organizations Albuquerque Oasis, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of New Mexico, the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, the Fathers Building Futures nonprofit organization, and the YMCA of Central New Mexico.

Festival coordinator Gail Rubin, CT, is a pioneering death educator who works with companies to connect with baby boomers concerned about end-of-life issues. A featured speaker at TEDxABQ in 2015, she’s the author of three books on end-of-life issues, including A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die. In a previous lifetime, she was a public relations professional and an event planner. Download free planning forms at www.AGoodGoodbye.com.

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