What do you think about folks who decide to be major organ donors upon their death? I’m not asking about just cornea transplants or even specifying a major organ such as the heart. I’m talking about bequeathing the entire body–organs, bones, tissue–to be used for transplants or even research.
While you’ll pondering squeamish details, let me add this: Yesterday, I included that provision in my updated will. My entire body will be used to help someone else. After all, my faith tells me I gain a new body in heaven, so all this is just spare parts.
I’m not ill and I don’t plan on dying soon. But I do like to plan ahead. Besides, this was not a snap decision. After all, I’m an Appalachian woman, and my culture knows how to put on a funeral that is a wonderful tribute to the person who died. I’ve even published sweet stories about Kentucky ceremonies. So what caused me to go against my own tradition?
It started with the idea I would donate my corneas. There would be no facial disfiguration, and my relatives still could have the typical funeral where distant cousins could gather, view my still self and murmur, “Doesn’t she look good?”
So as my daughter and I waited at the DMV a while back to renew our drivers’ licenses, I flipped to the back of mine and showed her the proper and limited notation. She freaked.
“Oh, Mom! Not your eyes!”
I gestured toward Pikes Peak visible beyond the wide windows.
“Oh, honey. Just think if someone could see that incredible mountain. Or a daddy could see his baby! I’ll have new eyes in heaven. I won’t need these.”
As she pondered a daddy seeing his baby, I pondered my sturdy heart and lungs that never had experienced smoking or drinking. Within minutes, I was thinking of my strong bones rebuilding a shattered leg. By the time my turn came to have the new photo taken, my smile was sincere. And my extended donor plans were taking shape.
I welcome your thoughts.