“My Gift of Grace has been wonderfully effective at Mercy – beyond our expectations. We are using the game as a conversation starter in a variety of settings, ranging from physician offices, to inpatient ICU, to area classrooms. The game is a non-threatening, fun way to start a conversation around goals, expectations, and directions of treatment.”
Medical Director, Palliative Care
I have hosted over 50 presentations about advance care planning and tried multiple ways to educate the community in a fun and engaging way. I have failed many times, that is until I found My Gift of Grace. There is no better tool to help break the ice than this conversation game. Time after time, the room is full of laughter while understanding the importance of having ‘the talk.’ My Gift of Grace is a must-have for your organization!
“I recently participated in a large group where we played My Gift of Grace. While all of us worked for the same organization, I personally did not know the other players. Before playing, I was ambivalent and cautious about talking about end of life issues. However, very soon after beginning to play, I realized that the while the game’s focus is on having a meaningful discussion about end of life, it is also about living well presented in a way that felt safe and fun. I really enjoyed hearing other points of view which inspired me to consider other ways of thinking about my priorities. Even though the subject matter is serious, we had lots of laughs, too. I am really looking forward to playing this with my family. My Gift of Grace is an opportunity for participants to share their stories, to discover others’ deeply held personal beliefs, and to cultivate empathetic response and understanding in a safe and fun way.”
Co-Chair, Patient and Family Advisory Council
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2012… my third cancer diagnosis in 30 years. Given my health history, our family has shared real conversations about living and dying. When I learned of My Gift of Grace, I loved the premise of the game’s intention to invite conversations about living and dying well – so I asked my husband and our 12-year old son to play. Because my husband and I have shared many deep conversations over the years, the questions in My Gift of Grace served to reinforce concepts we’ve explored. Playing the game with our son however, proved to be an invaluable experience. We respected our son’s wishes and only played through the first 10 questions. My Gift of Grace was a wonderful tool in affirming in our adolescent son’s mind that his mom and dad understand him as a person, as well as his fears and anxiety about life and death. By the end, our family’s renewed sense of gratitude, trust and desire to live well was priceless. Thank you Action Mill!”
three-time cancer survivor
CEO, Cancer Catharsis
Consultant, Advocate & Speaker
“I loved that some family members were very humorous and others very sincere. Playing the game was really a sweet time together. Some people in my family were excited to play, some were hesitant. But thanks to those Thank You chips, we were able to have a good time and a good conversation.
My favorite answer was from my brother: “I don’t do feelings, and I don’t do laundry.” But later in the game he shared a beautiful epitaph in answering another question.”
What a delightful evening my husband and i had as we played my gift of grace for the first time! After 42 years of marriage it was wonderful to discuss something new and different. We both learned some important things about one another. We look forward to playing the game again and again. We have given the game as a gift to friends and received positive feedback from them as well. We all certainly need to become more comfortable and at ease discussing these tender, often ignored, subjects.
We played the game last week in our monthly Chevra Kadisha meeting (this is a group of folks who volunteer to visit the sick, comfort mourners, stay with the dead between death and burial, ritually wash and dress the dead and put them in their coffin, etc.) The group loved it, even though we were only able to get through the first 6 questions or do. They wanted to keep going even after our hour for the meeting was over. They want to play it again as soon as possible, and we’re thinking of starting every meeting with a question or two from the game.
Read Susan’s article in the Jewish Journal
“I played this game with family as well in the professional/workplace setting. At work, it was a great team building exercise giving opportunity for the normally reticent to express experiences in surprising depth. Great for relationship building as well as enhancing insight into our colleagues through discussion of views. A Palliative care team is less inhibited about talking end of life issues than others but we were taken aback at how little we knew our teammates. I think this would be a great exercise for high stress or close knit workplace environments and particularly professionals who deal with end of life issues ( such as Palliative care teams) to prevent burnout and rejuvenate relationships.
In the family setting, the game is a fun and light segue into normally difficult conversations.The first two cards are brilliant icebreakers and really help players take down part or all of their defenses in approaching the game. “
Medical Director, Palliative Care Program
“This game is not only valuable to the clients we serve, to facilitate effective communication between caregivers, but it is also a valuable tool to open up dialogue between family members. I played the game with my own father who is dying of emphysema. It was easier for me to say to my dad—”hey let’s play a conversation game” versus “let’s talk about this heavy topic of death.” He is totally up for a game.
When I start reading the poignant, excellently communicated questions it just gives me goose-bumps because this concept really touches my heart, and my life’s work to bring death communication out into the open. Every family should add this to their game collection.”
“We used My Gift of Grace as the first part of a program designed to assist staff to open conversations about death and dying with the older adults we serve and with their families. By using the game we were able to set a tone for the event that enabled the audience, made up of professionals who work with older adults, to listen, learn and contribute to a discussion about a topic that can be as difficult for professionals to discuss as it is for older adults and their families. I recommend the game to any group of professionals who need to be able to discuss this issue with the dying and with those who care for the dying.”
Director of Research and Evaluation
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
CareFirst provides hospice, palliative care and grief services in Upstate New York. Each year, we hold a luncheon to recognize the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers who provide such valuable services in our communities. We always provide a gift to those in attendance. We wanted it to be something meaningful and this year we were particularly looking for something that reminded us of the importance of the work we do at CareFirst. After exploring all of our options, we really felt that the My Gift of Grace games provided us with the best option for a gift that would be both useful and inspiring for our staff and volunteers. My Gift of Grace truly captures the importance of appreciating every stage in your life and making the most of all the moments you share with your loved ones.
“I have personally played this game — it is illuminating and important and very meaningful. We laughed, we cried, we were better for playing this game. This is a wonderful way for loved ones to open up making meaning out of life.”
Rabbinic Fellow, Beth Chayim Chadashim
“My Gift of Grace is a wonderful way for families to engage in advance care planning conversations. It provides just the right amount of structure to assist in making what can seem like a difficult conversation so much more comfortable. It is a great first step in facilitating the thinking through of wishes for future healthcare; not in the lens of death and dying, but more so in thinking about what it means to live well. I highly recommend this game to all families. It is great entertainment, and even more important, unlocks the door to what I feel like is one of the most important and impactful topics to discuss with those you love. I played with my Fiance’ last night. We both laughed and cried, and learned new things about each other after 5 years of being together. I’m excited to bring this to my parents next time I visit home.”
Brad is a population Care consultant for a large healthcare system where his portfolio of work includes advance care planning. He has written about the importance of advance care planning in the Los Angeles Times