how card games can help start end of life conversations

It’s Easier to Suggest

Too often, the most difficult hurdle we face about discussing someone’s end-of-life wishes generally exists in our minds as we struggle to figure out how we can even bring up the “taboo” topic of dying and/or death with a loved one. Similar to how many parents tasked with explaining “the birds and the bees” to a child initially dread this talk, it’s also common to imagine how a conversation about your loved one’s end-of-life needs/desires might play out beforehand. Too often, we use every imagined reservation or perceived problem as another reason to put off this critical conversation and it simply never happens.

You Can Rely on the Cards

Just as you might find it difficult to even bring up the subject of a loved one’s mortality and what he or she might want, using a preprinted deck of final wishes cards can help you ask the question(s) if you have trouble remembering or find it difficult to ask something out loud. While these card decks offer multiple ways to hold an end-of-life conversation (see “Encourages Flexibility/Personalization” below), it’s simply easier to rely on the wording of each card regardless of how you decide to use these decks.

“I Didn’t Think of That”

More than likely, if you were asked to write down every single question you wanted to ask a loved one about his or her final wishes, you might come up with 10 or perhaps 20. One benefit of using a specialty end-of-life card game is that most decks contain dozens of important questions, and many of them touch on subjects you might not otherwise think to ask.

For example, one of the typical reasons people don’t hold an end-of-life conversation is because most of us feel afraid of dying and death and simply don’t want to think about our own mortality. Such fears, however, can profoundly shape and influence our final wishes, but would you have thought to ask your loved one to share his or her fears about dying or what scares him or her about death? The answer would probably prove significant and definitely shape this conversation but you might not otherwise know it if you don’t ask.