Liver — TransplantLyfe

Liver

Living with a deceased donor liver

AliEm14Transplant Patient
Updated May 20, 2021 in Liver

“I have a rocking chair in my office. It's covered in pillows and blankets, and I sit here and drink my coffee in the light of dawn, rocking back and forth, holding vigil for my grief. I am learning that if I want to live well, I need to learn how to grieve well.”

I wrote a blog post back in January about holding vigil. I spent so many hours in that chair holding vigil for my grief, for my deceased donor who lost their life and saved mine. I think about my donor often, feeling like I have established some kind of strange connection to this person I’ve never met by holding their organ in my body. I feel the grief of it all flowing through my veins. It feels important to me to grieve this. I want my donor’s family to know that I knew the sacredness of what took place, that I honoured the life of their loved one.

i read an article once about how transplanted individuals were considered to be human shrines. They held sacred ground between life and death. I like that. I want to move forward into my second life like that

1 - 11 of 11 Replies

  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    You can find the full article if you want to on my website www.alishaemerald.com

    it’s entitled the wild edge of sorrow

    April 20, 2021
  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 20, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    @Doublelung i love that concept of the sunrise and sunset. I have definitely learned the key to living well is grieving well, and I don’t feel bad about grieving anymore.

    I’m interested if the time comes when my donor family wants to meet me to find out more about my donor and see how many of these gut instincts I have about them are right

    April 21, 2021
  • DebTransplant Patient

    Love the sunrise/ sunset concept as well. My favorite times of the day for sure. I often think of my donors family and sent a letter but didn’t receive anything back. Maybe someday but I do refer to my liver as my boy as I thank God every day for my miracle. I do grieve for the family especially during the holidays this past year. I pray in time thing will get better.

    April 21, 2021
  • [Deleted User]Transplant Patient
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
    April 21, 2021
  • ChefAmandaTransplant Patient

    I love your outlook! Thank you for sharing.

    April 21, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    @Doublelung @Deb i’ve heard mixed things about donor families wanting to meet recipients. They’ve gotten updates from my centre about me but don’t know my name or where I live, just that the liver saved my life. If they’re not up to meet me, I’d totally understand. Grief is messy and so unpredictable. The last thing I’d want to do is complicate things for them. I owe them so much

    April 22, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    I’m curious - do y’all think grief ends? In my experience it doesn’t, and I’m not just referring to transplant grief. And I wouldn’t want it to. My friend said grief is a big component of desire and passion. I never want to stop feeling the bigness of my happy emotions and my sad ones. I’m learning to alchemize that grief into something sustainable and life giving for me but I don’t know if it will ever go away. It just gets less acute and changes shape

    April 22, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    Today I'm sad. Maybe it's because I'm almost at 9 months (9 months is the amount of time it takes to grow a human! something about 9 months just feels big) or the new moon or whatever. I was cleaning out my office today and found my hospital bracelet from my transplant, as well as the book I was reading in the hospital with the bookmark still in it. It just hit me all at once that I could have died. I would have died if someone else hadn't died. It hits me in waves. I feel great and I love life and I'm focused on recovery, and then I remember i have a dead person's organ inside me (It's technically mine now but it always feels like it was hers first)

    May 11, 2021
  • JeanmarieTransplant Patient

    I think its important to embrace all the emotions we feel. I have a living donor kidney, my dad's. Sometimes I will feel bad that he went through a huge surgery for me. I am 15 years post transplant and the feelings of that are still here. It is always reminds me to be grateful for being able to continue to live this life. Thank you for sharing those thoughts/feelings you have. I think its so important to acknowledge them.

    May 15, 2021
  • AliEm14Transplant Patient

    @Jeanmarie absolutely. Grief and gratitude at the same time. I think true healing only happens when we allow ourselves to feel the extend of all that we’re feeling

    May 15, 2021
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