I think I’m one of a dozen people who has watched Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not sure HOW I missed it when if first came out (thank you Netflix) but I caught the first 3 episodes today.
If you surf back in my blog, I think there is an entry about Maude Thursday and Holy Week from last year complete with an edited version of what happened. This week was the opposite. I’m not sure where I stand about my role in the church, that’s a different battle for a different day. I know now I feel safe (emotionally) where I worship which is a far cry from last year.
One of the early episodes of Grey’s dealt with organ donation and the resident reminding the intern that it wasn’t “skin”, “eyes” when speaking to the family, it was the person’s skin that could help others. I’ve sat in these meetings, I’ve heard the surgeons try to explain what would happen, the stunned families still trying to process the death of a loved one being asked to give parts so another person may live. Nobody likes these conversations. The doctors try to be clinical, afterwards some are lost in thought, others are snarky – no matter the outcome. The families grapple with the decision because in essence, the grief process is condensed to the finality of yes, my loved one is gone. And the social workers/chaplains won’t ever say it aloud but are silently cursing over what was probably a senseless death and trying to gather enough about the person to speak to the family afterwards.
I’ve been on the receiving side. It’s strange. Each time the redo one of my hips they put in more bone grafts. I was watching Grey’s, and the wife of the organ donor said something along the lines of how do I hold a funeral when my husband doesn’t have any skin? (reality, they take the skin from the back and thighs but that is an aside). I thought about the dozen families who wondered and still gave the bones for my grafts. It is hard to receive that gift: knowing it was because of a death. I rarely think about the giving (ok, I rarely think about it period, it’s not exactly laced with happy memories, just a lot of scars of varying sorts) and the courage it takes to let a part of a loved one live even when s/he is no longer with his/her family.
Many of us owe a lot to strangers who in a period of great darkness and sorrow, found the compassion and strength to give. As I sit the night before Easter, I can’t help but give thanks.