In the tradition of marking a day in the calendar for significant events/milestones/festivals etc, today is dedicated to “Organ Donation.” Last year the Times of India had a full front page advertisement exhorting people to join the ranks of those who have pledged to donate their organs after death for some needy person. Death and mortality may be the only definite truths life has to offer but for some reason these are topics we are uncomfortable talking about…i know i don’t like to dwell much on the morbidity of that eventuality. But that advertisement reminded me of a beautiful piece of writing that i had read decades ago. It was probably in the late 70s when this little essay had been published in the Readers Digest (that much-loved family magazine of our younger days) and i rifled through the pages of my quotes-collection-scrapbook and rediscovered that original which has shaped my personal sentiments on the issue. Without further delay i signed up and today i share here Robert N. Test’s words on how
“To Remember Me”
“The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my “deathbed.” Call it my “bed of life,” and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who has been pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all my prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.”