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The Emotive Response of Receiving a Liver Transplant

I imagine there is a certain set of emotions that come with receiving an organ transplant from someone who has lost their life, and a type of energy that comes with the organ. As far as liver transplants go, 99% of the time the donor is dead, either brain dead or cardiac dead, which is not the case with kidney donors; however, I imagine the energy coming from the donor is transferable, nonetheless. Sometimes when I look back at the dreams I’ve been having since the transplant I wonder if they have been affected in any way by the new organ, if the samskaras of the donor organ have infiltrated my microsphere and provided me with subconscious content. I wonder about who gave me a part of themselves so that I could continue my life after theirs came to finality? I wonder whether they went quietly out or with a bang, whether they were expecting their death or whether it was a last minute surprise? I wonder if they delighted in living, if they had a good life; if they were kind?

Every day post-transplant has greeted me like sun meets the dew-filled meadows of an early morning spring day, filled with excitement and anticipation for the day’s work of absorbing the earth’s sweet nectar, when nourishment and growth shine in abundance all around. With each day passing day my eyes tear with gratitude and respect for the process of life that we are all a part of, supporting and nourishing each other; offering a hand to someone in need as a resource, and clinging on to a friend for support. This is the chain of connectivity, the chain of life.

Today I got a little bit closer to finding out about my lifeline. I formally asked for my donor information, and at the end of the day I was given the envelope with three lines of text: 67 year old female heart attack.

Now I know. I know my donor’s death was at least in part a surprise, I know she suffered, but perhaps not for a long time. For some reason, the age, the cause, are things I can live with. I imagine someone who lead a long life, but of course I have no idea any detail of what my donor’s life was like.

The next step is I am able to write the family to thank them, to assure them I will take the best care of this living remains of their beloved. I will pray every day for this woman’s sanctuary in her afterlife, and I’ll try to find out more about her from her family so that I may honor her in the best way I know how. There are more and more transplant dedication centres popping up nation wide; it’s my intention to choose one not too far from London where I can go to make my official place of worship for this new, spiritual relationship. For me, it’s not enough to feel blessed. I want to do something about it, both to show how I feel. Equally important is to do whatever I can to help the increase in donors for the thousands still waiting for an organ, and that means taking action more regularly. I know the urgency for many awaiting transplantation, and I know that most people survive under the radar of having to ever face the consideration of becoming an organ donor. Yet I assure you, this could happen to anyone, you never know what can happen in life and how the seemingly solid, reality of being strong and alive can change at any moment to expose the truth of how fragile our body’s predicament really is. There is an old Buddhist quote that goes like this:

“Regard the fleeting world like this: like stars fading and vanishing at dawn, like bubbles on a fast moving stream, like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass, like a candle flickering in a strong wind; echoes, mirages, and phantoms, hallucinations, and like a dream.”

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