Last year, word got around the online #deathpositive community of a new Kickstarter called Morbid Curiosity. It’s a card game in the same vein as Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. Friends sit around a table and take turns turning over the top card from either a pile of white cards or a pile of black cards. In Kimberley Mead’s game, black cards are trivia, featuring questions like, “Who first penned ‘dead as a doornail’?” The person with the right answer wins the question card as a point, one of seven. The white cards, though, are personal, intimate, and may require deeper thinking. Players who win the white cards as points are those with the most interesting answers.
Excited to include something else death-related into my life, I immediately backed the Kickstarter. $26 for card game is no big deal for me. And then, as with all Kickstarters I back, I promptly forgot about it until I got the email asking for my mailing address. I forgot about it after then, too.
Fast-forward to March of this year. Photos of the game started popping up on social media, especially Instagram. I had an “oh yeah” moment and waited for my package to arrive in my mailbox. All of a sudden, I knew what to do with the game. I daydreamed about hosting a small group of my friends at home, all of us seated around my dining room table, drinking from steaming cups of tea and eating pastries while talking about death. I imagined something like a proper Death Café but unofficial, a meeting only between friends. My excitement grew the more I thought about it. But I waited patiently. And waited. And waited. And waited.
March became April. Kimberley sent a message to all backers saying there had been a problem with shipping, but she had sorted it all out and held onto the tracking numbers. So I waited some more. And then she announced that all packages should have arrived at their destinations. My mailbox, however, remained empty, my living room less death-y than it should be. After a few emails back and forth with Kimberley, though, I got my box. The familiar and well-loved fragrance of new cardboard greeted me when I tore away the plastic and opened the case. I organized the cards into two piles and admired the minimalism, the imagery, and a couple of the questions. Finally, the game is mine.
Those daydreams of holding unofficial Death Cafés in my house will come true. Obtaining a copy of Morbid Curiosity was Step #1 of my plan to be more active in my community as a death worker — even if my community encompasses only my friends and me right now. Maybe we can start a #deathpositive book club or visit cemeteries regularly, like I used to do. These are all just fanciful ideas right now while I continue making changes to my lifestyle and schedule, but we all have to start somewhere. And a little box of printed cardboard is as tangible and as real as beginnings get.