Monday, February 25, 2008

Giving some heart

I saw this on That Grrl's page, and she picked it up from BlogTalkers.

The question posed was this:
Heart. What is close to your heart? Does heart disease run in your family? Would you say your heart is in good shape? Would you ever consider donating your heart after passing away? Why or why not?
When I was writing a comment in response to the question on That Grrl's page, I realized the question really struck a nerve with me and I needed to write about it here.

This is the essence of what I wrote in my comment to That Grrl (she hasn't approved the comment yet, so I can't copy it word-for-word from her site):
Heart disease runs in my family. Big Time. I do every thing that I can to keep my heart strong. When I die, if my heart is in a condition that someone can use, I say please use it.

I believe that what is an ending for me, can be a new beginning for someone else. Possibly several people. And that brings me comfort.

When my father died a few years ago, all he was eligible for was tissue donation. My mother, knowing my strong feelings about organ donation even then, readily signed the paperwork. To me, this was a bright spot in an otherwise incredibly painful experience -- maybe someone would see some benefit from my Dad's death.

The idea of letting my body rot in a sealed vault in the ground, separated from the natural cycles of life, has no appeal to me. I'll be done using it. Take my organs, cremate the rest and scatter me to the winds.

Obviously, I have strong feelings.

But I also believe that when it comes to death, you should follow whatever practices give you and your loved ones the most comfort.
I know the idea of organ donation can provoke strong responses in people. Have you given it some thought?

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