Albuquerque, NM – The third annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival, seven days of death positive experiences to discuss mortality and encourage planning ahead for end-of-life issues, will take place November 3 to 10, 2019. Events will be held throughout the state, in Albuquerque (11/3, 7, 8, 9 and 10), Santa Fe (11/6), Taos (11/4) and Espanola (11/5).

The two previous Before I Die New Mexico festivals drew 600 participants in 2017 and 685 in 2018. The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) recognized the 2018 NM Festival with their KIP Award for Best Event. The event is coordinated by pioneering death educator Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist.

Most Before I Die New Mexico Festival events are free, to encourage as much participation by the public as possible. Learn more about all activities and register online for events at

The festival will start in Albuquerque with a Dia de los Muertos celebration at Fairview Memorial Park on Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The free family-friendly celebration includes a traditional procession to welcome deceased loved ones, mariachi music, a procession of vintage cars and lowriders, traditional Mexican fare, face painting, an offrenda/altar, flowers, healers, artists, and a host of Dia de los Muertos activities.

Additional Before I Die New Mexico Festival elements include:

  • Death Café conversations and behind-the-scenes tours of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries;
  • The lively panel discussion “Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews”;
  • A Mortuary Mall with funeral and cremation products and “Before I Die” wall;
  • Speakers, panel discussions and workshops on estate planning issues, advance healthcare directives, life after death, death doulas, pet loss, and other end-of-life topics;
  • A panel discussion of green burial and eco-friendly funeral options.

Before I Die festivals are part of a growing social movement that fosters reflection about how we as individuals and as a society manage death and dying.

One-day Before I Die events have been held in Bakersfield, California by Greenlawn Funeral Homes, Cremations and Cemeteries and in El Paso, Texas by Perches Funeral Homes. A multi-day Before I Die Arizona event will take place in Scottsdale October 29 to November 3, 2019.


Festival Sponsors
The Before I Die New Mexico Festival is made possible by:

Partners include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, The Guild Cinema, mortality-reminder website, and end-of-life planning website

Part of the sponsorship proceeds from Before I Die NM are donated to charitable partner Fathers Building Futures ( The nonprofit provides on-the-job training to formerly incarcerated fathers to reduce recidivism. They make biodegradable and kosher caskets, urns, and other wood products. A portion of sponsorship fees may be tax-deductible as charitable donations. Festival sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling Gail Rubin at 505-265-7215.