Death. And life.

I will not talk about what so many of us need to talk about this week. I just can’t. Instead, I’m going to talk around it.

Please make sure you have all of your end of life documents in order. Make sure there is a person who will make decisions for you if you can’t. Know that you need someone for finances and someone for health care. They can be the same, but you need different forms. Please make sure any important decisions are written explicitly in your will. Make sure you choose…right now and in writing…who will care for your children if you go before they’re grown.

There are attorneys to do this, and there is software. Make sure everything is in writing. Right this minute. Today. You know why. I’ve already said I’m not going to talk about it.

Did you know that 19 people a day die waiting for an organ? Only 50% of Americans are organ donors. Maybe you haven’t gotten around to registering. Maybe you are creeped out thinking of bits of you or your loved one or your child inside another person. Organ donation only happens after you’re already dead. After your loved one is gone. After your child is no more. And the choice to take parts of your loved one and give them to someone who would otherwise die is a gift that salvages hope out of death. The gift of life is one of the most generous you can make, and it beats back darkness with a pulsing, shining ray of light.

Please donate your organs. Promise to donate their organs. Nineteen people a day could live from your gift. That is how we help. That is how tragedies become about giving life rather than taking it. First responders are heroes, we say, because they often ensure life in the face of death. People who stand tall in the face of a loved one’s death and give someone else a piece of that life they will desperately miss are heroes. Because they, too, give life to someone who would otherwise fade away.

But don’t wait until you hear the news nobody ever wants to hear. Think about it, weigh your options, then Go. Right this minute. Write your will, dot your Is and cross your Ts. Designate durable power to those you trust. And vow to give your organs after your death so others can live.

Thinking about it right now is important.  Take a deep breath and consider the logistics of your death, your loved ones’ deaths, and your children’s deaths. And may you never have to think about the latter ever again. Ever.

That doesn’t completely circumnavigate the issue. But that’s as good as I can do, walking respectfully around an issue that I cannot write.

17 thoughts on “Death. And life.

    • Can’t. Just simply can’t. And when I start to go there it’s seven different directions, seventy minutes each, and I have no right…I have no right. How dare any of us? But I also can’t.

      So I did what I can.

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  2. Consumed…an apt description. Though I try to avoid the news, I am consumed. It shows a lot of strength and insight to look past wrong and find something that can be done about it.

    All of the things you mentioned are how one can ensure they have a voice in the future. My great grandfather, born in 1870s died of cancer. Though it was an incurable disease, he put himself through many rigorous tests, not in the hopes of prolonging his life but in the hopes of helping those in the future. When he died in the 1930s he donated his whole body to science. Transplant technology was non-existent back then but I do sometimes ponder what discoveries were made possible because of my great grandfather’s final gift to mankind.

    • Donating organs, if you or your loved ones’ demise was caused by something incompatible with transplant, means advances in science. Studying human bodies gets us all better health care, so donation is important no matter the cause of death or tissue incompatibility. Donating, like your granddad did, is giving life.

      Thanks for his story.

    • We keep meaning to get a notary to sign the wills…I’ve had The Talk with three parents, and this week is The Talk with two more parents. End of life arrangements can ease a really difficult time.

      Unspeakable indeed. As The Empress said, there are ways to refuse to be silent without speaking the unspeakable. Shudder.

  3. I can’t either. There is nothing I can say. I ha e cried and cried and cried and spewed my anger about gun control and then cried some more. I havent been able to write about anything. The images I have in my head. My babies faces replacing their faces. I can’t.

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