New Mexico October 14, 2017
This Otherworldly Funeral Festival Will Have You Laughing at Death
What do you think about death? Do you think about it all? According to the concept of
Before I Die festivals, death is a topic we should all get comfortable with and talk about. With Before I Die ABQ – a mixture of merriment, mirth, and good information – New Mexicans will have their turn to breathe some life into this often taboo topic.
You won't get out of this life alive.
Even though humans have a 100 percent mortality rate, less than 30 percent make any end-of-life plans. Produced by Gail Rubin (a Certified Thanatologist, or a death educator), the six-day
Before I Die ABQ festival offers a lively roundup of activities to get people thinking, talking and doing something about their ultimate demise.
It's an upbeat affair.
Even though the topic may seem grim, one of the festival's goals is to bring light to a dark subject. Events include movies, an art show, panel discussions, Death Café conversations, field trips to cemeteries, the Office of the Medical Investigator and haunted buildings, yoga and meditation classes, and a kickoff party in a graveyard.
Death comes to tea.
Meet and discuss mortality over coffee at a Death Cafe. With no agenda, objectives or themes, these facilitator-guided conversations, allow people to take the topic of death out of the closet. Talking about death can help ease fears around death and dying, but the main purpose of the cafes is to help people make the most of the "finite" time they have left.
Death gets top billing.
Discussions about death aren't new; books and movies have been talking about death for forever. As part of the festival, take in a death double feature at Albuquerque's Guild Cinema. The afternoon starts with the cult comedy about a young man obsessed with death,
Harold and Maude. Next up is The Seventh Seal, with Max von Sydow as a world-weary Medieval knight who plays chess with the Grim Reaper while seeking answers about God, life, and death.
Find out what you need to know before you go.
Death comes with questions, not only philosophical but practical. During the festival, participants will have opportunities to have their questions answered by experts. Among the panels and talks, funeral directors will field questions on funerals, and a panel of doctors and experts will speak and answer questions on "Making Plans to Live Well Until You Die."
Go on a ghost walk or cemetery tour.
What's death without a little creep? During the festivals, sign up to explore Albuquerque’s haunted past on an Albucreepy Downtown Ghost Walk or take a tour of historic (and haunted!) Fairview Cemetery with a local historian.
Take a field trip with death.
How about lunch at a casket factory or a seeing how a real-life CSI team works while touring the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) laboratories? Both are happening during the festival.
Festival activities start Friday, October 20 and continue through Wednesday, October 25, 2017, at various locations around Albuquerque. See the
Before I Die ABQ website for a complete schedule of events. Please note: many of the events are free, but some require reservations or a fee. Be sure to plan accordingly.