Saturday, August 4, 2007

Parting Out

When I'm dead, I won't need my body anymore. While I have greater appreciation for this machine now than I did before the car accident, I don't consider my body to be the total, or even the main part, of who I am. I plan to use my body for a long time, to use it up and wear it out. If any of it is still usable when I'm done with it, I want whatever organs to be used by someone else. As many as fifty people can be helped by one person's organ donation.

Today I caught the end of Heart and Soul on BBC World Service which was also about organ transplants. It's apparently a religious program (oh, I resist spelling it "programme") but I came in so late I missed any religious overtones. One of the speakers was the mother of a 19 year old British Jew who was killed by a suicide bomber on a bus. His heart went to a 7 year old Palestinian, and the mother says, "I was overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude I got from [the recipient's family]... I realized my loss was her gain. Their miracle was my tragedy, and their greatest happiness was my greatest sadness. And there's nothing you can do about that... And when I saw that little girl, I just felt good that something good was able to come out of such a terrible waste, such a terrible tragedy."

It's known that the best way to make sure that your organs get donated is to tell everyone you know that you want your organs given away when you're done with them. I know Zirpu knows this, and I have a Do Not Resuscitate order with my will, should that ever come up. I know that my friends will remember me, and while I don't need this, anyone using my body parts will remember me too. I'll live on, in more ways than one.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go avert the evil eye.

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