Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Is Donate Life Month

April is Organ Donation Month, but I'm really squeamish about it, so I've left it to the very last minute.

Or maybe I feel guilty.

I'm sure Bruce had lovely, healthy organs and would have gladly shared them. But we never talked about it. And when he died in our basement --and suddenly my house is invaded by medics, the flashing red lights of the ambulance, Pastor Dave who drives me and my son, Brad, to the hospital where we're escorted into the "Quiet Room" (I still hate that room and vow to never go into one again!), told as kindly as possible that Bruce is dead, and then the question--even though the request is a very gentle and kind, "Can we have his organs?"--it was just too much in less than 90 minutes of my life.

I blurted out a firm "NO," before I had a chance to think about it. I felt like they'd just taken my husband away, and they weren't going to take his body parts, too. They didn't ask twice.

I'm sorry now. Bruce had been praying for a man in the community who needed a liver or something, and if I'd have remembered, they could have taken that. But sometimes life just comes at you too fast, you know? On the other hand, I know other widows who have said "yes" and had equal remorse and questioning.
This really isn't something that should be left up to the widow! All married couples need to talk about this and decide! Agreed?

Mayo Clinic has an article about myths and misinformation about organ donation: Don't Let These Myths Confuse You.

The U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services has general information about organ donation and a page summarizing various religious views of organ donation.  This is a federal govenment website so you'll just get very general information. Be sure to check with your local pastor if you have any religious questions about it.

I'm not saying one way or another about donating, I'm just saying do your family a favor and make your desires about organ donation known ahead of time. (That'd be today).


  1. We talked about OD, but cancer didn't make Michael a candidate for that.

    I think it's definitely something that needs to be discussed and somewhat planned for well before anything is amiss.

  2. Jim and I did talk about it and when the call came from the hospital I was able to say yes. I got a letter a month later saying that they were able to use his eyes - corneas - each one for a different person and now there are two people walking around that can see.

    I watched an episode of "Monk" once where he met a woman and recognized his wife's donated eyes in her. I know that is stretching it but sometimes I think, I would love to meet those people and know that Jim is still alive a little bit and was able to help someone. He did that best. Help people.


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