Monday, April 26, 2010

The Gift of Life

Dear Reader,
I hope you had a chance to read Debby's story on Wednesday. It illustrates one of the many important decisions that simply must be made while we're still in shock that our husband is gone: will you or will you not donate the organs?

Here are some others' experiences and viewpoints:
Myra: Spouses should take the opportunity during their marriages to discuss the nitty gritty about death and funerals. After a friend or relative’s funeral is the perfect time to discuss these issues. Thank goodness, God had provided my husband and me several opportunities prior to his sudden death to discuss funerals, organ donation, and other such sensitive issues. When he passed away, I had no hesitation about organ donation and knew what he preferred about funeral arrangements. He was 39 when he died suddenly; no time is too soon to talk about these issues.

Denise: As far as your question about organ donation, I was told right away that my husband couldn't be an organ donor but he could be a tissue donor. Tim and I had discussed all of this before. He was also an EMT and had studied to be a paramedic. I knew without a doubt that he would want to do anything he
could to help somebody else. So, that made it a very easy decision.
Another thing one must think about right away is burial or cremation. We knew that my mom had extra cemetery plots early in our marriage. What was God's timing was that just about 3 weeks before Tim died, we had discussed cremation. It was our decision that this would be fine with either one of us. Our discussion helped in this decision as well, and made it much easier to have one memorial service here where we live and another one closer to families.

Ferree: Bruce died of a brain anuryism. In an instant. I think from the time we called the EMT, to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, to back home again was only two hours. (The shock and grief washes over me again as I write this--but that's ok). Consider a 15 minute drive to the hospital, another 15 back home, and that's a lot of action in a short time. Signing admission papers to the emergency room, going to that separate waiting room, two church elders arriving to sit with me and my son, the doctor knocking at the door . . . and then someone drew me aside and asked about organ donation. I blurted out "No!" and that was that. I wish we'd decided ahead of time.

Tom: Marilyn died of ovarian cancer but had voiced her desire to give the gift of life ahead of time. With her cancer the only thing left to donate were the corneas. Receiving the thank you letter for them was very meaningful and precious.
Friends, the recurring message here is that it's best to decide ahead of time, for whatever is best for you and your loved ones. Have you made your own decision? This discussion has brought me a step closer. If you have questions about Bible doctrine on this issue of organ donation, please direct them to your pastor. If you'd like to share your own experience or advice please leave a comment or email me.

Also, there's a surprising story on my personal blog about a friend of mine who God directed to become a living kidney donor. And on Thursday I'll list a couple websites. One addresses fact & fiction about organ donation; the other has a handy reference guide about what various religions and denominations have to say about it.

But for today, this is a new day. Another step without your husband, and of course you'll miss him. But it's also another step in God's growth plan and story for you. His plan for you is full of new life, deep joy and amazing goodness and grace. It'll happen. Today's a fresh beginning.  ferree


  1. Steve and I had discussed this early in our marriage. We both wanted to be organ/tissue donors and let extended family know this as well. When Steve passed unexpectedly it was a blessing to my hurting soul to answer the coroners question of organ donation with an unwavering YES. It comforts me to know that others may live better lives because of Steves' gift.

  2. Dear Kay, Thank you for sharing this wonderful gift. I'm so glad you and Steve were able to discuss and decide this ahead of time. What a blessing and comfort for you AND the organ recipients! God bless you!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not always able to reply but your remarks mean a lot to me and will appear as soon as possible.

Here are some tips for commenting:
Remember to click the Publish button when you are done.
Choosing the anonymous identity is easiest if you do not have your own blog.
Using a computer rather than a cell phone seems to work better. Thanks again!