So LAST Sunday I spoke in church about organ donation. Pastor Seth said about 3 minutes. Hah! Somehow I managed to stop speaking before anyone started yawning. Seriously, a lot of people told me I did a good job speaking and that they were going to put "organ donor" on their driver's licenses and so on. Which is nice, because I never look a positive affirmation in the mouth.
What really floored me is that one woman, who I've sat near and chatted with on occasion, came over during coffee hour and told me that her son was an organ donor last year, in the very same PICU where I used to work. We probably talked for half an hour, at least. She told me how hard it is, but how sharing his organs has given her some meaning, a way to cope better with having her only child die. I can't even imagine-I think about it and it makes me want to ground my kids for life so nothing bad will happen to them.
For me, as a coordinator, it was nice to hear that donating has helped her and I told her so. I've only ever seen families when their grief is still raw and fresh, so it was a blessing for me to hear her say that donating his organs is helping her heal. I've said it before and I'll say it again, donation is a solace in a time of mourning.
This past week I met a friend for coffee who is now the hospital services manager of the hospital where that very same PICU resides. She's having resistance, of which I am familiar, to donation. Not that the staff is against organ donation, theoretically. It's just that PICU people tend to be very possessive of their little ones and don't take kindly to OPO staff "hovering around". I told her I'd be available to talk to them, if she wanted.
So now I'm in church again today and the woman who's a donor mom and I sit together. While talking I mention the above to her. She got quiet. I didn't want to ask for her help, because she already told me that she doesn't think she's ready to talk publicly about it. But I can see she's thinking. After services, she tells me that if I ever need anyone to talk to the PICU staff, I can call her. I told her I'd take her up on it.
Because no matter how good I can gab, she's the one they're going to listen to.