A friend of mine shared that April is National Donate Life Month and pointed the way to the Donate Life Registry page. I registered. It felt so right and good to register myself as an organ and tissue donor. I was surprised at myself for not having done this before because I believe it is incredible. Organ and tissue donation is something we see regularly at the mortuary and I’ve always been so moved by the choice to donate in the ultimate way.
I took this photo at the OC Coroner’s office a few years ago, the mural is depicting a young girl hearing her mother’s heartbeat in the chest of this donor recipient. (Based on an actual event).
Scrolling through the faces on Donate Life California: Stories of Hope page is stunning. Every one of these people is living or in better health because of choices made to donate.
If you remember, last month I wrote about “meaning making” and the challenge it is for any bereaved person to find peace and rest from all of the WHY? questions. These answers are even harder to come by when life is taken in senseless and tragic ways. But, the majority of organ and tissue donors come from exactly that group of people; the ones who die unexpectedly and suddenly. It doesn’t make their death “ok” or give instant peace – nothing can do that. But over time, knowing other people’s lives are prolonged and their families are saved from your current grief – there is meaning there.
Just one person’s organ and tissue donation can save the lives of up to 8 people and dramatically improve the lives of another 50. Multiply that by the family and friends whose lives are blessed by getting more time with their loved one. The impact of donation is truly unfathomable.
Please, consider becoming a donor. You can Register RIGHT Here. It takes less than one minute to sign up. If your experience is like mine, you may feel a joyous calm over that moment and throughout your day. Knowing that if tragedy struck, I could go on to help others is a deep and peace-giving assurance.