Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

On guilt

A recent liver transplant recipient that I met through Chopped Liver correspondence recently posted on his blog his thoughts on guilt. "I have talked to a few people who have had a liver transplant and most have felt guilt about the other person who has died so that I could live," he writes. "I do not feel guilty about the situation. ... Now I'm feeling guilty because I don't feel guilty!"

As a live liver donor, this hit me so strongly -- I wanted to reach across the miles and somehow help him know how far in his corner I am. I can empathize -- receiving such a profound gift must be an incredibly emotional experience in so many ways that most of us will never understand firsthand. So for any transplant recipients or hopeful recipients who might be interested in my humble opinions, I want to shout out with my (admittedly very personal) response: When I chose to give the gift of life, it was just that -- a gift. One given freely and meant to be received freely, without compensation or expectations. Whether I'm talking about the liver I have already given or the rest of my organs that I have volunteered to donate upon my death, I offer them with no strings attached in the hopes that their recipients will have a better life for it, and in the act of receiving will find comfort and hope. If any of my former organ owners feel guilt, all I ask is that they relieve it by paying kindness forward. Recycle something, give up road rage for a day, anything but guilt.

2 Comments:

  • Glad to know there is someone else in this corner! Hopefully I can make a difference somewhere with the use of my gift. I don't want to make a difference for repayment but to make a difference for thanks and respect to my hero, my donor! "Pay it Forward!" Thanks!

    By Blogger Josh Carpenter, at 10:14 AM  

  • My organs are scheduled for donation after my death. With any luck,they'll haunt the recipient with my fabulous ghostly self. Suddenly the recipient will be dressing better, will possess an acerbic with that doesn't quit, and will suddenly want highlights!

    By Blogger Jason, at 10:23 AM  

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