Doyenne
Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®, helps get funeral planning conversations started with a light touch on a serious subject. As an award-winning author and speaker, she uses humor and funny films to attract people to a topic many would rather avoid. She also helped pioneer the Death Cafe movement in the United States by hosting the first one west of the Mississippi in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September 2012. Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist, a designation awarded by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. The designation Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement is a fancy name for a death educator. She has made behind-the-scenes visits to mortuaries and the Office of the Medical Investigator, and takes continuing education courses on funerals, death, grief, and the afterlife. She is also a Certified Celebrant, a Life Tribute professional personally trained by Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury of the In-Sight Institute, the leading U.S. organization that trains Celebrants. Gail is also a public relations professional and event planner. She has more than 30 years of experience creating many memorable life cycle events. She is an award-winning speaker with memberships in Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association New Mexico Chapter. As the author of “Matchings, Hatchings and Dispatchings,” an Albuquerque Tribune column on life cycle events, she found that the columns on death elicited the greatest reader response, indicating a pressing need for information on the topic. She started The Family Plot Blog, a chipper online resource to provide the information, inspiration and tools to pre-plan a healing and meaningful funeral or memorial service. Her award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, helps reduce stress at times of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and have a meaningful, memorable "good goodbye." The book was awarded Best of Show in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards and was a finalist in the Family & Relationships category of the 2010 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. She also provides the same good information in the TV/DVD series and weekly Internet radio program, A Good Goodbye. She is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. She volunteers with the Chevra Kaddisha, a group that ritually prepares the bodies of Jews for burial, and she serves on the cemetery committee for her synagogue. Rubin is a breast cancer survivor who began her cancer journey in the summer of 2008. She observes, “Nothing reminds you of your own mortality more than a brush with something as serious and transforming as cancer.”
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