Donating Her Body to Science

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My Grandmother is very ill, on her deathbed to be quite frank about it, it’s a hard time for me because I remember her before the Alzheimers’ and she was such a joy to be around, her nickname was Weezie and I think she got that nickname from my Uncle Bill because she smoked all her life, or at least as long as I can remember. She had a spunk about her that only a hard life can give you and sarcasm at ready supply.

I spent weekends with her sometimes, holiday time during the school year because both my parents were working (after my grandma retired) and spent a lot of time with her really throughout my life. I enjoyed her humor, she really truly cared for me and would even buy gifts for my older sister during the holidays because her dad wasn’t around.

I remember one Christmas my Grandma and her sister, my Aunt Pat showed up at my house with bags and bags of gifts and I remember just loving her so much for making my day so much better and for being my Grandma and for caring for my sister too. I always appreciated how much my dad and Grandma included my older sister, she had been left out of that kind of family with her own selfish father and I was glad mine loved her as much as they did. My Dad will to this day tell you that he fell in love with my sister before he did my Mom.

I’ve missed my Grandma and wish that Alzheimer’s was a curable disease already, I hate what it’s done to her. She doesn’t know anyone anymore and she won’t eat or take her medication and this has been going on for a while now. Hospice has been called in to care for her and we all know that means it’ll be over soon. The day my stepmom told me Hospice was being called in, last Saturday was a very rough day for me, I felt like that was the day she died, I grieved so much on that day and as I write about the feelings I well up again.

But my Grandmother is a brave woman, and had decided before her mind began slipping away from her that she wanted to donate her body to science. Our own mortality is such a scary thing to think about and I am still foolish enough to believe I have a lot of life ahead of me. I talked about this with my husband last night and he’s very creeped out about it, doesn’t think it’s normal and I can’t pretend I understand that. I don’t.

I think it’s the ultimate in self sacrifice to donate an organ or your body to science. The benefits to the world are incredible!

I guess I can sort of understand the morbidity in all of it and why J is creeped out by the idea that organs are taken out and studied. I think it’s fascinating to know that my grandmother will be single handedly advancing scientific knowledge about the body, and possibly helping a few people directly.

I think I’ve thought of all the things that are affected by organ or body donation and I just come back to thinking about how selfless it is. I find it noble and honorable to donate organs, blood, or your body to science. I love my Grandmother and can think of no better way for her to live on than in this way.

What are your feelings about this?

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