Nino has passed away. Nino's Pizza must live on. You are Nino's family and friends. You loved Nino very much, and now he is gone. Who were you to Nino? Linger through the five stages of grief. Each stage, work towards healing. Take care of yourself and your family. Take care of business. Keep the pizza place and his memory alive. Denial. Do you stay open the day it happens? Bargaining. What do you regret about how it happened? If only... Anger. Do the regulars still come in? Depression. Can anyone make the sauce the way Nino did? Acceptance. What makes you remember him and smile? If these stages don't speak to you, think up some new ones. After each stage, take turns writing a sign for the outside of the restaurant. Write three of each letter of the alphabet on scraps of paper. Randomly remove 10 pieces from your pile. Neighborhood teens stole those letters. Write your sign with the rest of the letters. Use it to share the experience of your grief with the world...or advertise your pizza. Know that as your community drives by, they are touched by the combination of letters you create.
The idea for this game came from a real pizza place I drive past every day. The snapshot of the grieving process I receive driving past as the sign changes is very meaningful. I wonder about the emotions behind the changes. Right now the sign reads “We hope we are making you proud always.” Before that, the sign read “Pizza is like love, you lust need it.” (neighborhood teens swapped the “j” around.) Grieving does not happen in a vacuum. Business and neighborhood teens just keep happening, even as your world feels upside down.