I received this from a very dear friend out-of-state who is gradually losing her fight against pancreatic cancer and so cannot donate her organs to help others live or have a better quality of life. It will be sad and difficult to have yet another friend and mentor pass on before me when the time comes, but she has already earned her reward in Heaven.
The author here was Robert N. Test who passed away himself in 1994. The Living Bank website has information about organ donations by living donors and deceased donors.
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.
Robert N. Test, Founder of the Living Bank
Of course, most of us know we will all live forever, regardless of our mortal sins or lack thereof. But can we consider leaving another legacy behind us to help others on their journey? As the saying goes, there is much food for thought here.