We had the good fortune of connecting with Sue Mackey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sue, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I had taken a deep emersion course in end-of-life, during which we were all required to complete our advance care planning documents. I felt strongly about the importance of doing this, yet for several years couldn’t bring myself to actually complete mine. When the realization hit me that the reason was because I didn’t feel I had the knowledge to complete them with competency, I began a process of self-education. Once I felt a level of understanding, I realized that there had to be others who were procrastinating for the same reason, so I began offering support to small groups to prepare their advance directives together. At the same time, I was immersed in the world of home funerals, also educating myself on the funeral industry in general. I am still a strong proponent of family-led funerals, and also love helping individuals navigate the funeral industry in order to have their particular needs honored and not over-spend. As I presented to the community on these two end-of-life topics, participants repeatedly asked me about “what else” they needed to consider when making their end-of-life preparations. The Exit File™, an indexed binder that comes with my education and support, was not something that I had originally envisioned but was born from a need expressed in the community.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Out of the Box End-of-Life Planning was many years in the making, evolving with time and in response to needs in the community. The name started out as Out of the Box Funeral Planning, which was funnier, but as my services expanded I needed to reflect that in the name. My comprehensive end-of-life planning includes development of comprehensive final wishes and health care advance directives, and education about funeral and memorial options way beyond what one would receive from a funeral home. My goal with my clients is to give them the peace of mind of having all of their “affairs” in order. My business is much more of a community service than a business and is a vehicle for me to share my passion for all end-of-life topics with others. I’m proud to partner with The Conversation Project of Boulder County as a community educator and to offer monthly death cafes, currently on zoom. My funeral consumer expertise is being utilized as the president of the board of the Funeral Consumer Society of Colorado, doing outreach and offering telephone support. I’m one of only a small group of individuals certified as a thanatologist. (person who studies death and the losses associated with death). Being well-versed in most aspects of death and dying, and talking about it openly, I am happy to be part of the change in culture from death-aversion to death-awareness.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ha! We can’t go anywhere right now but outdoors, so, lots of hiking in the mountains! Rocky Mountain National Park would be on the itinerary, and checking out the mountain towns of Lyons and Nederland. Actually, even without Covid, those would be my highlights.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a Shoutout to Karen VanVuuren of Natural Transitions/The Natural Funeral for educating me on home funerals back in the day.

Website: https://www.outoftheboxendoflifeplanning.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suemackey88

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheBoxFuneralPlanning

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