Topics and Questions For Discussion
1. Room for Grace is a memoir of a family through the eyes of Maureen Kenner. What do we learn about each member of the family? What do they value? How do they complement one another?
2. What changes do you see in Maureen as she copes with the news of Buddy’s dementia versus the way she copes with the news of her cancer? How are they similar? How are they different?
3. How do both Buddy and Daniel deal with the news of Maureen’s cancer?
4. Over the course of Room for Grace, Maureen experiences many kinds of loss — loss of her life partner, loss of her health, loss of her sense of purpose — which of these is most challenging for Maureen and why? How does her approach to each differ?
5. In what ways do the family express their grief? Who have you lost? How is this story similar?
6. What are some of the experiences Maureen had as a teacher that helped her choose hope over hibernation and happiness over pessimism? How is the world “less scary though the eyes of a child?” Recall a time you faced a challenge and learned from the children around you.
7. How do you identify yourself? How do you create your identity? How do you identify others? Through work? Personal life? What objects represent you?
8. What is the importance of taking risks? What do we learn about ourselves and others when we take a risk?
9. How does your school/work bring together people who learn and live differently abled?
10. How did Maureen show she could be strong and weak at the same time? Has there been a time in your life where being strong meant letting go?
11. What does it mean to have a moral compass? How does one know if they have a moral compass? Describe someone who does. How do you know they do? What actions have they taken to confirm this?
12. How do you respond to adversity?
13. Describe a person or an event in your life that impacted you to the point of complete reversal of belief. Was there acceptance of a hardship? Clarity to a problem?
14. Who of your family or friends would you like to conduct an oral history with? What are some of your favorite stories they tell? If you began your oral history, what story would you start with?
15. What does it mean to live in the “here and now?”
16. What is grace?
17. What local/national causes or organizations are you interested in learning more about?
18. Write a letter/note to someone that matters greatly to you. Share important memories, what you’re proud of, what's hurt you. Share what you want to be carried on after you're gone.