Sign the Organ Donor Line or not?
To sign or not to sign. Organ donation has been around for what seems like always but I’m pretty sure they weren’t transferring livers from anyone dead to alive on the frontier. I’ve never signed that section of my driver’s license. Most people I know have. I’ve been holding out. It makes me feel strange and very uncomfortable even thinking about it however while I was sitting in traffic for 2 hours to travel 23 miles today I did do some thinkin’
We’ve all heard stories on 20/20 or Dateline about some donor recipient suddenly craving stuffed crust pizza and finding out later that was the donor’s favorite food or having emotions that seem foreign to them after they’ve received their slightly used heart. What does that mean? Is it imagined or do our cells really carry preferences that can be transferred from one of us to the other? Eeeew!
It freaks me out entirely. Plus I am so very Irish in my disposition, although thank God in spite of an accusation to the contrary, I am not an alcoholic. I drink a few times a year and then sometimes not at all for years. I am however prone to deep melancholy states that are hard to shake and fits of unreasonable temper that are hard to explain. And hard on relationships.
I am deeply fond of poetry and the written word and any kind of story I will give a listen to just for the fact that it’s a story of some kind. Yes…even the Twilight series got me! A rainy day is the best kind of day to have in my book. So if that’s true…would my donated eyes give an otherwise happy person a veiled and somewhat sad view of the world?
Will my tempers be passed on to someone who inherits my liver? Where does bitterness reside in the body? Are there tears dwelling in the tissues of my heart muscle? Would a recipient no longer be able to maintain a grip on their emotions when confronted with a wounded animal or a sentimental memory?
What of my nightmares, loves and regrets? How about my fickleness and tendency toward clutter? Then again what about my joy in seeing the first spring flowers or the mere mention of my daughter’s name? Would I wish the darkness on someone who was already wounded or dying? Would they see it has preferable to the aforementioned conditions?
I struggle with strange questions like these and have several times. Plus what of my feeling of possessiveness to all my parts and pieces? I know I won’t need them anymore but damn it their mine! That one is so irrational I can’t help but laugh but you get the gist I suppose.
The truth is, funny how 2 boring hours can allow the Great Whatever to sneak insight into your brain, anyway the truth is it’s not about stuffed crust pizza, melancholy or regrets. It’s about dying and how much I really don’t want to do that ever. I mean ever.
Thinking about dying reduces me to tears every time. I want to know my grandchildren, great-grand-kids and on and on. Being in a May-Dec marriage with me being very much the December means most likely, barring any odd accidents, I’ll die long before my husband. I don’t want to think about what that will do to him or worse – the fact that I would logically want him to remarry but illogically want him to mourn me forever. I suppose both of those could happen to him at the same time.
I want to keep learning and drawing and playing music forever. I cherish every sunrise and sunset already and have for years. They are each so precious, so different which if you’ve read this far don’t ignore them. You really do not know which one will be your last – see the beauty with your whole being.
Signing the organ donor line forces me to acknowledge that there may come a time where my organs would be passed around here and there like cocktail party hors d’oeuvres. I don’t like to think about that. Like I said, not interested in the whole death thing although every day I remind myself to stay present and do as much as I can before sleeping because death is always present.
Three times in my life I’ve thought I was dying. Once when I was smacked with a pistol during a robbery, once when I was in my 26th hour of labor with my child and once post-surgery when a flurry of nurses were around my bed very upset and makings lots of noise about rapidly dropping blood pressure, etc.
I wasn’t scared at all.
I was peaceful. I was so sure that death was occurring and I was totally calm about it. I said my goodbyes in my mind and fully let go of all the things that I feel so responsible for on a daily basis. None of it matters in that moment. Not the cruel things said to you over a lifetime. Not the false accusations you’ve faced, various forms of abuse or misguided attacks on your character. Not the untaken roads or the unrealized dreams or the regrets over any mistakes. It’s all gone, only peace and a welcoming to whatever comes next are present.
Aside from that, in day to day life though, randomly thinking about death terrifies me utterly. Hence the delay in the organ donor line. Don’t like it. Know it’s irrational. Still haven’t made up my mind but very likely I’ll go ahead and sign it.
I’m not so sure about my 45 year old eyes, I see less every day. Today, from some distance, I thought Johnna, who was raising a water bottle to take a drink was taking a picture of Kate so I’m not sure that they’ll be of much use. My liver should be in great shape and near as I can tell my kidneys are doing well. Don’t get me wrong I really want to wear these babies out until they just don’t work any longer but I suppose, if Death gets me, someone ought to get some use out of them.
I just hope they don’t mind enjoying the rain and feeling compelled to read some poetry now and again.