I made friends with someone recently who cares deeply about the process of dying. Her background is hospice care (among other interests) and she keeps a blog that is about “the spiritual practice of contemplating death as a way of living life more fully.”
Play, at its fullest, is a vulnerable practice. It involves a posture of openness in which we let another see our real self, with no pretension, no hypocrisy, no concern for image. We play when we come to the place where we say, “I don’t have anything to lose! I may as well be myself and embrace the joy, freedom and grace of doing so. I have space to play and imagine.”
In that light, it could be said that those who are at their most helpless are those who can truly play. This, I believe, is why my friend saw play as something that coincides with her calling to come alongside those who are near death. She experiences her vocation in hospice care as playful.
On Saturday, she forwarded a link to me on Twitter. It is, in fact, a game someone has developed that helps people open up to talk freely about end-of-life questions. The game is called “My Gift of Grace”.
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