For those of you who follow our podcasts and webinars, you are sure to have picked up that I play Pokémon Go. In fact, I’m a big fan and love the game. What you may not know is how and why I started playing. My motivations were and still are love, support, and connectivity.
In June of last year my husband died. Bruce was an amazing individual and wonderful in so many ways. He was completely engaged in our daughter Francesca’s life, ambitions, and activities. He learned how to play video games and the two of them played together constantly. They both had tons of fun with the Play Station and Wii; video games were one of their “things.”
After Bruce’s death, I wanted to fill the void that Francesca and I both felt, especially in regards to some of those special things they did together. Video games were just not that attractive to me, and that had been their thing. Shortly after the memorial services, my daughter asked me to start playing Pokémon Go with her. She loved the game and was an active player. My niece Rachel played with her, but Rachel was headed off to Ireland soon. I dove in and discovered a whole new world.
I started playing July 23rd last year. It would have been Bruce’s birthday. As my daughter and I went out to walk our local city trails, we launched the game. I have to be honest, I was only doing this to share something with my daughter that was important to her, not because I had a burning desire (or even a lackluster interest) in playing Pokémon Go. But dang, I was hooked after the first day playing. It was fun!
That summer, we spent almost every day out for a walk together, talking as we caught Pokémon. We talked about all kinds of things. Looking back, I see what a critical role that time had on our healing process. Pokémon Go was part of our processing grief and moving forward. And it became a whole lot more. It gave us a chance and the time to discuss big things and small, share thoughts and feelings, and to be present for one another.
Nine months later, we still play Pokémon Go every day. We are so excited that spring has come and we are back out walking the trails as we catch and talk. We have discovered a great group of local players. It’s a fun community where we share Pokémon stories, disappointments, and triumphs. My personal goal is to reach level 40 before my one-year Pokémon anniversary. I just hit level 38, so it will be a challenge to get there. My daughter will make it as she’s already level 39.
Pokémon Go is a terrific game, no doubt, but it is so much more to me. It has been the conduit of strengthening my relationship with my daughter during a very difficult time. It has provided a relaxed setting where we can truly engage in meaningful conversations. And as an added bonus, it’s tremendous fun that leads to lots of laughter while playing the game. It’s been such an amazing, valuable experience.
Now if they will only bring back the legendary birds from last summer…
Petite2Queen provides virtual mentoring to young women in life, at work, and in sales. Follow us for more practical advice you can put to use to improve your life and career.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.