Ashes to Ashes

Reading about the student who gave up his organs so that others could have a new life prompted me to think about the time I signed up to be an organ donor.
This was back when I was a undergraduate in USM. It was during one of those semester breaks when I had gone home to Selangor, happily announcing to my parents that I had pledged my organs – I cannot remember which organs I pledged but the major ones were included (I don’t have 20/20 eyesight so maybe no one would want my eyes).
I thought it was a simple matter. Dad was enthusiastic about it. He usually is supportive of his eldest daughter’s ideas and I have had plenty while growing up. I knew Dad would give me the green light any time I asked. I didn’t even have to give a reason to pledge my organs. He knew why.
(Pisceans are true martyrs sometimes. I admit to that. We would love to save the world, save the sharks and die happy for that. So that’s the reason why I wanted to pledge my organs. I wanted to be useful even after I am no longer here. Besides, I am all for cremation and would like to be fish food, scattered over the sea, preferably where the sea is aquamarine blue. Some friends think I am morbid.)
But Mom was aghast. She lectured me. She gave me reasons why I should be in one piece, even in death. According to her, we should be in one whole piece if we are to be reincarnated? But that’s just my physical body, I argued. In the end, she disallowed me to donate my organs.
I am a stubborn person and I went ahead. I thought telling my parents was just a formality and a sign of respect.
I believe many people have religious issues with donating their organs. Like, we were born complete and whole and we should die complete and whole. The way I see it, there is no point letting your organs rot – regardless if a person is buried six feet underground or burnt to ashes (and no, I don’t see how cremation will be painful for the dead person…any person entertaining such delirious thoughts must be really attached to their physical body!) – when the same organs can be used to save other people’s lives.
So do yourself a favour – don’t just say you want to help people – do it. Do it even if you’re dead by donating your organs. It’s meaningful and it saves lives. What other reasons do you need? (You have to be over 18 to do so, otherwise you need your parents’ consent.)
This link takes you to more information about organ donation in Malaysia, the facts, the stats and the real issues. Plus, how you can sign up as a donor.

10 thoughts on “Ashes to Ashes”

  1. darling, i m with u. been a organ card holder for years, but yday M asked me what did i pledged to donate…i dont know. but i guess they will know.

  2. Hi Keat: Yes, I think the older generation maybe a bit too conservative sometimes. Maybe wrong beliefs… ha, my M would kill me if I told her that. It’s a non-topic between me and her now so it’s best to shut up and not rile the M.
    Hi Hoyoyi: You can re-apply to be donor. Just click the link and there is a form to fill at that website. But I really don’t like the flimsy card they give. So unprofessional! After all I AM pledging my organs. Can’t they give laminated cards or something?

  3. The Tzu Chi Teaching Hospital in Taiwan even accepts cadaver donations (reported in the Star yesterday). I wonder if it is done in Malaysia?

  4. I have been on this organ donating thingy for the past 15 years or so. Signed up for it when it was first publicized in the newspapers. Yes, I was given the ‘flimsy’ green card with a white ribbon on the foreground. Today, I wonder if I am still on their list or by some freak reasons, I am not. Will definitely call them up and enquire. I want them to keep my name updated and will do the same with my family to convey my wishes. The death of a loved one is devastating but it is very comforting and strenghtening to know that the donor’s spirit of kindness have lived on in the bodies of the recipients

  5. Hi Giovoni: I think cadaver donations might freak more Malaysians. Imagine, it’s so hard trying to change the mindsets of our parents, friends and etc, on donating their organs. I can imagine asking my parents if they’d let me donate my whole dead self! They’ve probably say, over their dead body. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Hi Kate: Yes, that’s why I think they should give better cards! I mean, organ donation is a serious matter and we should be appreciated for it. Something like the credit card type of cards would be lots better than the flimsy green and white card (mine is almost in tatters now after being moved from purse to purse). Yes, sometimes I wonder too if I am still on their database of donors.

  6. I am totally totally ashamed of myself now. Oh well…ok ok ok…I’ll go do it. But there’s something about cutting me open that really scares me…that’s why been hesitating. I dislike the idea of looking like a deflated dummy after all organs are taken out. ๐Ÿ™ I know, sick thought. Ok, fine. You’ve just convinced me to just go do it.

  7. Marsha dear…THANK YOU! Your comment made me realise why I continue to blog! To be able to get my friends to do something positively and contribute to this world is the best reward for blogging. Think about it – you will join dozens of compassionate peeps who are donors. Errrm… I don’t think you’d look deflated. ๐Ÿ™‚ Trust me.

  8. Hi Cooknengr: If I can donate my contact lenses, I would! Are you an organ donor? But don’t donate your liver. You’re a hardcore drinker… remember all that tequila, whisky and etc at your Mardi Gras party the last time? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope your agave cacti are growing well….. enough for you to make tequila when you next go home. (Yes, I know. I owe everyone a King Cake.)

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