My Mission

To empower women to be the Chief Legacy Officer of their own lives.

Who is the Luminous Legacy Project For?

If you can answer Yes, this is ME, to one or more of these items, this group is for you.

  • If you are a woman who is 50+

  • If you have had passing thoughts that you should start, or change your will, but keep putting it off

  • If you think that dealing with your family is …complicated

  • If you are a single woman, with no spouse, and no children, like me

  • If you’ve started the process, but have found resistance from your loved ones to being involved

You get the picture.

What is the Luminous Legacy Project?

I created the Luminous Legacy Project to empower women, 50+ to be the Chief Legacy Officer of Their Own Life. I chose the word Luminous because I saw this endeavor as shedding a light, bright and shining, into the darkness of fear, superstition, taboo, family/cultural traditions, that often prevent open, loving, frank conversations about death and loss.

I will facilitate and coach the group, as it offers support, practice, information, guest speakers, and celebration. These conversations are often hard to have because of limitations of family superstitions, cultural and/or religious prescription, and our own fears.

The impact of my stand fully realized is that we, our families, friends and communities, are fully engaged in the conversations and activities around our last chapters, that are beautiful, loving, and even fun, that will free us all to grieve and celebrate, when the time comes.

It’s Time to Start the Conversations Now!

Did you know…

Every authority on end-of-life planning, from the Brookings Institute to AARP, claims that we should prepare our plans, our families and our selves, for our Final Chapter, with discussions, documents, and an estate plan. Did you know that, although about 6 in 10 Americans have a retirement account, the majority of adults do not have any form of estate planning document. In fact, only 1 in 3 has an estate plan, according to Caring.com.

Before we plan our final documents, and before we complete our estate plans, we need to have conversations with our loved ones about them; the who, what, how and when. Have you even started to think about how you envision your final chapter? Have you started and been shut down by anxiety, or just plain fear (yours or theirs)?

Did you know that if you pass on without a Will or Trust (Intestate), and even if you have a will, that the laws of your state will determine how your assets, including the soup tureen your mother loved, will be distributed, and, to further complicate matters, other businesses, or strangers, can file a petition against the estate for what they claim is owed them?

The impact of not having “the conversation(s)” is often a surprise, and quite upsetting. Some of the unforeseen consequences of putting off a Legacy conversation are family disputes, probate court, guardianship issues, unintended beneficiaries, tax claims, and in the case of my former husband’s unexpected death, an insurance claim against him for a fender-bender two weeks before his death, that lasted the full year of probate, before his loved ones could touch his estate.

I’ll bet you have a story. And that your friends have a story. Perhaps you are going through your story right now, wishing that your parents or spouse, had listened to you when you brought up the subject of planning for their final chapter, and you’ve promised yourself that you would not wait, like they did. Well, now’s the time to get started, with the support of The Luminous Legacy Project.

How Does the Luminous Legacy Project Work?
  • We’ll meet virtually, in groups of up to 10, or smaller, more intimate pods of people who might be friends, for up to 8 Sessions.

  • We’ll review our earliest memories of how our families, neighborhoods, relatives, etc. dealt with death, what we made those conversations and practices (including not talking about it) mean in our lives, and how we face death and loss now. We’ll then start looking at what, if any, practices we’ve passed on to our family, and look for hidden legacies that we have already created.

  • Preparing Conversation Starters. We’ll try out our conversation starters with each other, like, “I love you, and appreciate you, and I want to have this conversation while I’m well, and we’re all good, and can participate fully, to talk about how I want my last chapter to go.” We can laugh and cry, and provide loving, accepting feedback to each other to say it all out loud. We can create a possibility for our loved ones to accept our conversation in a way that works for everyone, instead of looking for what will go wrong .

  • Inviting Trusted Experts to speak about estate planning, financial planning, and funeral/ceremonial planning. We’ll prepare questions, and if a group member wants to meet with the guest professional, because we can’t cover individual scenarios, their contact information will be available.

  • We’ll have Reports from the Field about what challenges we faced, what successes or failures we had, what needs to be looked at, and we’ll celebrate the movement forward, especially the baby steps.

  • We’ll have at least one session on Creating our Legacy, that could range from our estate plan to mementos such as special videos, letters and memorial boxes. This is an opportunity to let our imaginations run wild.

  • To complete the Project, we’ll talk about what Self-Care looks like in this context, especially setting boundaries with our loved ones. We’ll also have talks with experts, ranging from cleansing practices for our energy fields and our home environments, to forest bathing and chakra meditation.

My Why

Hello and welcome.
I’m Susan Shafer, Creator of The Luminous Legacy Project.

Having had my own experiences with the expected loss of my very old and frail parents, and the unexpected loss of my 33 year old son, and hearing about so many others, where we were the ones left behind to manage it all, I thought, there’s where I think I can make a difference. I want to leave people empowered to create the life they want to live, and how they want to complete it, that would lead to a feeling of completion and ease, and love. That’s when I stepped into David Kessler’s Grief Educator Certification program.

As I delved more deeply into the shape my offering might take, this scenario came to me. Sound familiar?

“The adrenaline, the auto pilot, the ‘must’ follow-ups,
The lists of calls and emails, to the family, the friends,
The paperwork, the calls to the wrong person, the wait time to get to the right person.
The bank, the lawyer, the insurance companies, the funeral parlor,
The organizing, the need to get it done, to be finished, to get to the money for the funeral, to do the things that need doing.
The questions, the discussions, the signatures, the notarizing, the search for the rest of it, the feelings of overwhelm, can’t, don’t want to, must.
It seems endless. The wishing it had been all completed. Before.”

I thought, there must be a better way, a less confusing, less anxious making way. It’s the whole ball of wax. I wanted to make a difference for people to change up their experience of being left with the death and grief of loved ones, of unfulfilled dreams for their future. What I came to, is The Luminous Legacy Project, an expression of my STAND to transform our conversations about death from fear of the unknown, to curiosity for what’s next.

This quote, from Thich Nhat Hanh, resonates with me, as someone who has lost, not only my parents, but my son, my only child, and dear, childhood friends…

“Birth and death are the only two doors
Through which we pass,
Sacred thresholds on our journey.”

What Results Can You Expect?
  • You can expect to be listened to deeply, to be supported with love and respect, and to be empowered to engage in conversations about your own life and legacy that will change the way you, and your loved ones, feel about planning your own last chapters.

  • You can expect that the Legacy you take on in this Project will provide relief, completion and love, for the ones who will finally be left behind as you embark on your next journey, transforming fear of the unknown, to curiosity for what’s next.

  • You can expect to have strengthened your boundaries to enable you to deal with any and all consequences of these conversations.

  • You can expect that the conversations you have started will ripple out to your family and friends, raising awareness and empowering them to share the conversations with their communities.

“Birth and death are only two doors
Through which we pass,
Sacred thresholds on our journey.”
–  Thich Nhat Hanh

Write Your Own Final Chapter NOW!

Schedule and Fees

Schedule an Introductory Clarity Call to Learn More

I work with small groups of 10 or more intimate pods of people who choose to work together. I set up pod meetings to accommodate schedules as much as possible.

ADDITIONAL GRIEF EDUCATOR COACHING SERVICES

  • Personalized, individual sessions to process any unrecognized, or surprise, grief that arises through your participation in the Luminous Legacy Project.

  • Personalized, individual sessions to process your grief journey if you do not wish to participate in the Luminous Legacy Project group sessions

  • Personalized, individual sessions to create your journey into what David Kessler coined, “Finding Meaning, the Sixth Stage of Grief.” This is for people who feel that they’re ready to start an inquiry into what life might be about as they see some light shining out of the darkness of early grief.

Inquire by filling out the form below

Would You Like to Join the Project?

Take The First Step, Let’s Schedule a Clarity Call!

On this free 30 minute call we will get acquainted, answer any questions you may have, and get you registered!