“Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead ”
This was my first introduction to Gail Rubin. Between this line, her warm smile, calm voice, and reassuring posture – she made me feel comfortable and welcomed into this new arena I was just getting to understand, the death industry.
I recently met Gail at the NFDA’s 2016 Convention and Expo in Philadelphia, PA. Gail Rubin is known by many as “The Doyenne of Death®”, and the title could not be more fitting. Gail uses humor and funny films to attract people to topics many would rather avoid; taking care of advance medical directives, estate planning, and funeral planning. Gail helps get end-of-life and funeral planning conversations started with a light touch on a serious subject. She hosts the award-winning TV/DVD series, A Good Goodbye, as well as an internet radio program.
After spending a few days with her at the Expo in Philly, we forged a bond that I know will last a very long time – she became an invaluable guide, mentor, and resource. Her truth and honesty lent great credibility and direction in what she does in the industry. And when given the opportunity to review our new solution for the industry she didn’t hesitate to put it to the test.
The following is Gail’s review of Requiem. Original source: http://agoodgoodbye.com/tools-of-the-trade/requiem-a-free-and-simple-app-for-funeral-communications/
– Khal Hanna
Review Time – “Requiem: A Free and Simple App for Funeral Communications”
by Gail Rubin
November 15th, 2016
When a loved one dies, especially when there’s been no pre-need funeral planning, many families have no easy way to contact everyone that needs to know about the memorial service. Think about it: when time is of the essence, can you easily assemble the names and contact information for all your family and friends?
The Requiem app, introduced at the 2016 National Funeral Directors Association convention and expo, is helping the funeral industry to simplify the notification process to ensure everyone who needs to know about a service gets all the details in a timely manner. It also offers a host of other helpful benefits.
If your current personal contact list consists of Mom’s dog-eared personal phone book or random family phone numbers programmed into your cell phone, you may have problems keeping track of everyone who has been contacted or who still needs to be contacted. The Requiem app addresses all of these issues with the power of today’s modern communications devices.
“After my father passed away, we had a really tough time notifying family and friends, people who are really important to me, my mother and sisters,” said Mark Alhermizi, Founder and CEO of Requiem. “It was an analog, arduous process which was ultimately ineffective. We reached maybe 70% of the people we wanted to notify.”
Knowing that important people in his life did not find out about the funeral until after the fact made a deep impression on Alhermizi. After he emerged from his period of mourning, he put his team of programmers at his company IZI Ventures to work creating a free mobile app that would automate and simplify communications related to a passing.
“The ability to reach friends and family in an automated, modern, efficient, turnkey way – all free of charge – makes it so that you do not have to be alone at such a hard time,” said Alhermizi. “Requiem brings all the loved ones and important people together to celebrate the life of someone who was very close to them without the fear of having missed anyone.”
Requiem automates the communication of everything related to the passing. The app allows you to:
- Create and send a personal note of your loss to multiple contacts in one click.
- Create and allow friends and family to participate in an everlasting digital memorial to share condolences and memories.
- Automatically update your attendees when services or arrangements are created or changed.
- Accept and channel donations on behalf of the family.
The app has a system of green and red buttons that let you know if a contact has or has not seen the message about a death. Those who want to be of assistance to the family can make personal contacts with those who have not yet seen the news about the upcoming memorial service to make sure no one misses out on these important events.
The app is free to use by both the general public and funeral homes. The funeral directors who were introduced to the app at the 2016 NFDA convention responded enthusiastically.
“If it weren’t for our reception at NFDA, I wasn’t sure we had a hit,” said Alhermizi. “This show has validated for me wholeheartedly that I am full steam ahead on building and bringing this to tens of millions of users and all 20,000 funeral homes in the U.S. as well as in Europe.”
Requiem hopes to change the culture associated with death and funerals by moving this kind of information to communications platforms millennials are comfortable using. Earlier acceptance and comfort with these issues will help everyone better accept death as a part of life.
BTW: What’s a “Doyenne” you might ask? – Quite simply it’s a woman who is the most respected or prominent person in a particular field — indeed, Gail Rubin you are a true Doyenne.