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One of the best decisions I made in 2021 was to enroll in Susan Mackey's Out of the Box End-of-Life Planning.  Why? 

  • Some day I am going to die.

  • I want my health decisions, estate priorities, and end of life care preferences in place so family has an outline of what I want to take occur.  

  • I discovered things about myself that I had not known.

  • Susan's program presented a full set of options about all of these issues.  I have my road map and I have the satisfaction of not putting this all on my wife and family.

  • Susan is a pro at leading such an adventure.  She knows her material, offers it in an accessible manner, and creates a safe space to be open about one's fears, hopes, and questions about walking forward.

  • What a relief!

-Bruce R., Lafayette, CO

“When my husband died a year ago, the one thing I didn’t have to face is the uncertainty of how I should handle the details of his death.  Because together we had participated in Sue Mackey’s “Out of The Box” series, so much was preplanned. That fact left me prepared with so many decisions preplanned by both of us and I was left with the energy to grieve his death. Totally recommend her workshop series.”.   

 -Sharon C. Louisville, CO

"I highly highly recommend the End of Life Planning course from Sue Mackey to everyone - in any stage of life. Sue gently unpacked, explored and guided us through this overwhelming, difficult (and easy to avoid) subject with an incredible amount of openness, empathy, skill and expertise.

The course is organized beautifully. We covered everything from advanced dementia directives to green burials. Sue covered major subjects (dying at home vs intensive care) as well as important details (writing a final letter to our loved ones, making multiple copies of certain documents, organizing our accounts and passwords (even mileage!) to smooth the process for those we leave behind.

We worked our way through our "manual" -  a very thorough, organized 3 ring binder containing ample resources and helpful forms. Each week Sue offered homework suggestions and small steps we might take that week to make progress to prepare for the expected - and unexpected - events that we might face as we navigate end-of-life issues for ourselves and for our loved ones.  In a practical and spiritual way, Sue helped our small group demystify the often confusing end-of-life process - with all of its possible variations. I cannot imagine a more personal and thorough way to ensure an easier transit through an uneasy chapter of life."

-Catherine M, Mission Viejo, CA

Sue has a gift for holding the space for classmates to share their thoughts, emotions and experiences related to death and dying. She also has put together a very thorough and organized binder with all the forms, guidelines and information you will need for your end-of-life planning. I highly recommend her engaging series!

-Anne E., Boulder, CO

During the time my wife, Karen, was passing away from cancer, Sue Mackey provided an immense amount of help to my wife and I.  Sue’s help included activity coordination, providing a wealth of information about natural funerals and end of life decision-making, as well as paperwork to be completed.  Sue played a very integral part in carrying out my wife’s end-of-life vision.  Sue was detail-oriented, gently guiding my wife and I through the planning process and making helpful recommendations.  The result of this collaboration between Sue, my wife and I was a beautiful and meaningful day when my wife passed away surrounded by love, friends and family.  Sue organized a meeting with everyone who attended the day of Karen’s passing.  Everybody, therefore, knew what to expect on that day.  Sue’s hard work and preparation allowed for a very calm and loving gathering on the day of my wife’s passing.  Similarly, the wake which occurred on the following day was filled with reverence and peaceful mourning.  Again, Sue’s guidance on sending communications to everyone who attended the wake regarding what to expect, and her help finalizing the details of the wake opened the door for a truly sacred experience for everyone participating.  Because Sue helped us with covering all the details, everything went smoothly which contributed significantly to the calm and peacefulness of the event.

  -Andy S., Westminster, CO


I would highly recommend Sue Mackey’s Exit File class to anyone interested in organizing and understanding issues pertaining to the death of a loved one or to oneself. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie and interactions among the group (including the gallows humor!) All participants receive a very well organized notebook, designed by Sue, to be used as an Exit File.

-Kaila R., Boulder, CO


Sue Mackey’s Workshop was a real eye-opener. Although I was somewhat prepared (or so I thought) with wills, medical directives, etc.., this program laid out - in detail - what issues may arise, what feelings one may have and the necessity of having an action plan in place. Her binder of planning info is worth the cost of the class alone - it is a resource that I will save, update and refer to for my parents needs as well as my own. In addition, I appreciated the open, non-judgmental and even light-hearted method of leading the group that Sue provided. I learned a lot from her - and my fellow attendees. I wholeheartedly recommend this course.

-Pat E., Lafayette, CO

I highly recommend Sue Mackey’s Thoughtful Exit Planning workshop. Not many of us like to talk about death, right? But Sue has created a thorough and systematic format providing participants with valuable information about the choices available to us. These choices, if left unaddressed, become decisions that our families will have to make for us after our deaths if we don’t make our wishes known. 

While providing valuable and practical information, Sue also creates a safe space and light hearted environment for participants to voice concerns, confusion, even fear. I now feel so much lighter having completed the workshop, knowing that my family won’t have to make tough decisions while grieving my loss. Thanks, Sue, for your knowledge, wisdom and compassion.

-Jan W., Lafayette, CO

I really got a lot out of the seminar and found it to be considerably more valuable than I had expected.  I've got my things in order and am distributing the three ring binders. I would highly suggest others to participate in this seminar. 

-Don S., Loveland, CO


What I liked best about this workshop is that it provided both solid, necessary, down-to-earth information clearly based on research and extensive lived experience and a place to explore and share ideas about a crucially important subject. Sue had the information well-organized. She allowed time for sharing and input but always returned the focus to the topic at hand. She also provided a wealth of material—legal forms to fill in if we so desired, a bibliography, handouts to ponder at home.

         By the end of the six weeks I felt I had been part of a kind, warm, smart community, and I was excited to share what I’d learned with my husband and daughter—and to hear their thoughts in return.        

-Juliet W., Lafayette, CO

Sue’s class "Thoughtful Exit Planning” and completing the notebook she provided has given me a sense of great peace. Her focus on values around living and dying gave a depth to the course that was nourishing. Sue’s guidance in considering crucial issues from advance directives to funeral planning was so illuminating, and she effectively pointed us to other community and online resources. 

Deborah H, Longmont, CO

We would have been unable to make such well-informed end-of-life decisions without Sue's guidance. Her considerable knowledge and experience are invaluable in navigating  through understanding the outcome of our choices. We also appreciate Sue’s sensitivity to our beliefs and concerns, and highly recommend her to any one, or couple, facing these difficult, but really necessary choices.  Discussing these issues became a very rich experience.

– Karen T and Sue S., Englewood, CO


Sue's help was invaluable in helping us understand our options when my mother died. I was so happy that we were able to leave her in her bed, wash her body, make her look calm and natural and have the viewing for about 20 friends and family. I had no worries or fears about whether we were overstepping legal boundaries. When I look back on that, I am so grateful. Her death was incorporated into our lives; a natural thing. 

– Margaret P., Lafayette, CO

In this "Get Your Affairs in Order" class, we were able to create some practical documentation to guide the manner in which we will be treated around our demise and death.  This documentation is gathered into an individual Exit File of medical, legal, and personal end-of-life directives. Sue's knowledge and experience with the health, legal and emotional parts of the process helps to demystify that most dreaded event. She demonstrates a mastery of knowledge concerning all things involved in the process of dying in our society. 

– Chris and Robyn, Lafayette, CO


When my father died last year, Mom was well into her 90's and my sister and I had no experience planning a funeral. We also faced the challenge of planning while 1000 miles apart. Sue Mackey was able to provide us with indispensable knowledge on the range of options available to us, what we could expect from service providers, and also what to watch out for as we made plans.

Armed with this knowledge, it was much easier to form our plans and to enter into the necessary business contracts with confidence that we would be happy with Dad's service, and also that we were receiving excellent value in our choices. 

– John T., Boulder, CO


The series is so thoughtful! I found it to be informational, inspiring and provocative. It has led to good conversations with people in my life. I also feel prepared and able to gift my children with a lovingly prepared exit. Thank you!

-Ellen L, Lafayette, CO

Sue’s gentle leadership was most valuable.

-Kaila, R., Boulder, CO

I’ve given much thought to end-of-life planning, but this series showed me what I hadn’t thought through.

-Mary Ellen B., Niwot, CO

Sue's eight-week Exit Planning class was a rich experience. She provided an excellent notebook of resources for getting our end-of-life paperwork in order, along with detailed information on everything from how to organize documents to the latest in burial options. Sue brings a wealth of experience to this work, and great sensitivity in leading the group in wide-ranging discussions about death. I highly recommend this class, or at least a few private sessions, to everyone.

-Linda G, Lafayette, CO

"I think your subject is very very important, {and} your ability to communicate your concept is striking and masterful."

-Sharon C, Lafayette, CO

You could not find a more caring and warm person to work with.

Susan's scope of knowledge in this area is vast.  

                – Marcy M., Northbrook, IL

Thank you for you kind and generous advice after my mom passed away.


Your help was extremely valuable as we went through the process, making a difficult time much easier with your support.

-Boyd M., CO

We seem to have such a problem with the concept of death and dying in America... Kudos to Sue for providing the proper mixture of respect, dignity, and attitude. One couldn't ask for a better mentor to make this delicate topic an easier transition.

– Donald F., Aurora, CO

Re: What’s Next For My Body (When I Don’t Need it Anymore)? presentation at BVUUF:


This was such an important topic. I'm so happy that I was there.  You have a lovely, gentle way of talking about things that aren't usually in general conversation. I have now changed my whole plan based on what I learned today.

-Meri G., Lafayette CO


Susan’s class was a 10 out of 10. Before taking Susan’s class,  I had no idea where to start or what forms I needed to complete, how to find them or how best to complete them. She provided EVERYTHING I needed, both on the practical side of every form, how to fill them out and in what order, as well as on the emotional side helping me walk through sensitive considerations so that I could plan my End-of-Life days and funeral in clarity with my values, beliefs and wishes.

-Myka McLaughlin, Founder, Women In Community

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