People who are beyond healing are most definitely not beyond fun, or a good laugh with someone they love. I don’t know if games can help people face death. But they can definitely help them affirm life. And perhaps that is the best we can do for them.
I’m not planning to take the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” approach into the hospice with me. Though I admit guided fantasies can be powerful tools for helping people embrace the inevitable. And I’m sure that for some building a shared fantasy about death and the afterlife would be a rich source of very deep fun. Especially if it weren’t taken seriously. In fact, how about making it a shared process, you know, each of you take turns adding a sentence.
I can tell you this about me. I think, if I were dying, and still had the energy, I’d prefer the life-celebrating silliness of it all. I’d want to play just those kinds of games with you, the one’s I call Pointless. If I wanted to play with fantasy, maybe we could play with something like the Frog of Enlighten-upment . If I wanted to get morose, I’d try It Could be Worse, but I’d more likely play something openendedly insignificant, like Plenty Questions, or a good game of Redondo, each of which is fun enough and loving enough to lead the living and dying wherever they want to go together.
A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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