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November 22, 2013

If I Could Donate My Heart / WEP


Today is the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish bloghop aka WEP. The theme for this month of November is SHARING.  All participants can post anything they want (a short story, poem, or even a story through pictures) about sharing. And it’s not too late to sign up!


Back Story: I have been experiencing heart problems (non-life threatening) for almost two years now, and during the time when I was really scared I started to think about what it would be like to get a heart transplant. That train of thought eventually turned to donating my heart. This essay is very personal, and it is hard for me to share, but I do want to know what you think of it. :) It is 568 words long.

If I Could Donate My Heart

by 

Chrys Fey

When someone is waiting for a heart and receives one through an act of fate, they may never know where the heart came from. This thought struck me with wonder. If I had a heart transplant, I would want to know if the person was good or bad. I would want to know what the heart had gone through before it was given to me. What kind of traumas did it face? What kind of sorrows did it feel? What kind of triumphs made it beat faster? Those are the things I would want to know about the strange heart beating inside my chest . . . but what if my heart was being transplanted into a foreign body? If I could donate my heart there are a few things I would want the person receiving it to know.

While the person recovered, I would want them to know we are sharing the same heart. I may not have a body, but as long as my heart beats inside theirs then I am still alive. I would want them to know they’d never be alone as long as they breathed. I would always be with them as an angel, as a second heartbeat.

When they leave the hospital, taking my heart with them, I would want to whisper in their ear to take care of it for me, not to abuse it, not to take it for granted, and definitely not to hate it. During my lifetime, it was a reliable heart. They must keep it beating, because the moment they die I will die all over again.

As they live their new life with their new heart, I would want to tell them about the struggles my heart faced during my life, like the scars that might be left on it from my childhood. I would want them to know I built a wall around my heart to keep it protected, a wall that still might exist within them. I would want to apology to them, because taking down that wall could be a struggle, extending trust could prove to be difficult, and finding love could be a challenge. But if they wanted to trust and love, they would see my heart would be up for the opportunity.

If they do fall in love, I would want them to know I had never been truly, madly, deeply, earth-shatteringly in love, so as they fall in love, I am falling in love, too. I would want to thank them for letting my heart feel the lovely phenomenon for the first time. 

On their deathbed, I would want them to know it would be okay to let our heart stop beating; it lived two great lives. And when they pass into the light, I want them to be comforted by the fact that I'd be there to welcome them with open arms, to thank them for the journey they took my heart on. Then I would place their hand on my transparent form and show them my heart hadn’t really left me after all. And with their other hand on their chest, I would tell them it belonged to both of us, that the reason why I was born was to provide a single heart for two lives.


If I could donate my heart . . . that is what I would want the person receiving it to know. ©


Image by Chrys Fey.


38 comments:

Unknown said...

Very touching post, Chrys. So sorry to hear about your health troubles, but it sounds like you've taken it as an opportunity to figure some things out. I think they call that turning lemons into a tasty, sweet beverage--and I highly recommend it. :)

Sally said...

A touching piece of writing. It's strange to think about receiving or donating one of our organs.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, E.J.! I just got a diagnosis and my heart troubles are small, but when I didn't know what was going on it was very frightening.

I turn lemons into tasty, sweet beverages all the time. ;) Or I try to anyway.

Thank you for your comment!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Sally! It really is.

gobabushka said...

Wow. That's all I really got. One of the few points in my little life that I am speechless!

Kelly Hashway said...

Chrys, that was absolutely beautiful. You made me teary.

Chrys Fey said...

I can't believe I made you speechless. Since it doesn't happen a lot I am honored. Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Kelly! I was teary a few times while writing it.

Unknown said...

WOW!
Thanks for sharing not only your story but your heart.
I have always been apprehensive to the idea of donating my organs, you have opened my mind to see it a different way.
Thank you.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for telling me that, David! I had no idea what kind of impact this essay would have on others, so knowing how it opened your mind makes me feel . . . I don't even think a word describes how I feel. :)

Anonymous said...

A lovely concept you've put to lovely words.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jessica! :)

Li said...

Thank you for sharing such an intimate post. I have been a registered organ donor since age 16, and I hope that some day, a part of me will go on in life with someone else, and help them to fulfill a dream. (If I reach a ripe old age, perhaps they can use my body to teach medical students.)

Chrys Fey said...

I've been a registered organ donor since I was 16 too. Thinking about people receiving my organs now sounds strange, but when I pass on I would want to help as many people as possible to live long, full lives.

Yolanda Renée said...

What a lovely sentiment, and so touchingly shared! Thank you, and so sorry for your health issues, today so much can be done to help - I hope you are getting and doing all that is possible. Organ donation is a beautiful thing and a letter like that to the recipients would surly help them to accept and heal faster - beautiful!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Yolanda! That is an idea. Maybe I should print it out and have it added in my Will . . . whenever I create one.

Scheherazade said...

Very touching point of view. I seem to recall reading a story about a heart transplant patient experiencing some of the feelings of the original owner--love of certain kinds of food, etc.

Jenny Brigalow said...

Chrys, thank you so much. I'm sorry to hear you have been unwell, I do hope that things improve for you. There can be no greater gift than ones own heart. What a compassionate person you are. It's so warming to read something that expresses the generosity and goodness of human beings.

PK HREZO said...

Chrys, thanks for giving us another glimpse into your beautiful soul. You're truly a gem, and true love will find you one day when you least expect it.
This reminded me of the movies 21 Grams and Seven Pounds. Wow those are heavy movies--and very evocative. If you haven't seen them, I highly recommend them both.

Laura Clipson said...

This is beautiful, I've really never given the subject much thought before.

The Armchair Squid said...

This is an interesting take on the whole heart transplant idea. In human society, we still attach so much emotional significance to the heart when, in fact, it's probably really all going on in our brains. My family has a long history of heart disease so some of this is near and dear. I hope your own issues get resolved before too long.

Chrys Fey said...

I actually took out a paragraph about that to shorten the post. I had mentioned that if they found they suddenly hated mushrooms it was because I hated mushrooms while I was alive, and they'd get used to it just as they'd get used to my heart. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jenny! I do love to help people and if I can help people after I'm gone then that is even better. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That is very kind of you to say. Pk. :)

I haven't seen those movies, but I'll make a note to look for them. Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Laura! I hadn't either until I experienced heart problems and then watched the movie "Return to Me" with Minny Driver where she gets a heart transplant. After that, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you! We probably do experience love in our brains, but who knows for sure? My family also has a history of heart problems. I got my diagnosis back and it's good news. As good as it gets when something is amiss, even slightly amiss, with your heart. Thank you for your kindness. :)

Vesper said...

Chrys, this is really beautiful and very poignant... Not easy to share such thoughts, but I'm grateful that you did.
This is especially touching since it appears that the heart is a "little brain" in its own right, studies having shown that it has a very sophisticated nervous system, a circuitry that enables it to act independently of the cranial brain. So stories of people accessing memories or feelings of those who had donated their heart to them might be true...

Denise Covey said...

Hi Chrys. I hope you are well and continue to be so. What a heartfelt little essay on the heart. It was very touching, and powerful too. I like the way you consider yourself continuing to live on in the new person once they receive your heart. This puts a whole lot more emotion into the heart transplant operation.

Thank you for sharing such deep thoughts and feelings. I hope it was cathartic. It has given all your readers a lot to ponder.

Denise

N. R. Williams said...

Beautifully written. This touched me deeply and I am one who has survived so many things that to be moved any more is difficult. You should turn it into a story and donate the proceeds to the heart foundation if you have the funds.
Nancy

Chrys Fey said...

Not easy at all, but I am glad I did. I wasn't expecting such a beautiful response from everyone. And thank you for sharing that bit about what studies have shown. That is fascinating and I believe it's true. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Denise! Writing this really helped me to look closely at my situation and to be grateful for my heart even though it likes to cause me some problems every now and then. I am happy to offer my readers the chance to consider such a selfless act too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Nancy! That is a great idea! It may take me some time to complete, but I am going to start plotting the story. Thank you for such a wonderful idea!

Unknown said...

This was so moving Chrys that I even had tears in my eyes. Knowing how my mother was an organ recipient, not of a heart, but still, a life-changing organ, your story really hit home.
Your words are gravitating and emotional on every level. They made me want to know that if something happens to me, my heart will go on by giving someone else the chance to live, feel, love and grow old. Thanks for sharing this.

Jen said...

This is beautiful, Chrys! I've often wondered about organ transplants, if a piece of the other person was still, somehow, attached to the heart, or lungs, or kidneys. It's an interesting thought that a part of us may live on in another human. This made me a little teary-eyed. Thanks for sharing this with us

Jen

Michelle Wallace said...

Your piece stirred my emotions and left a lump in my throat...
Thank you for sharing your innermost self, in such a sincere manner. You are so brave.

I've never really thought about organ transplant, or the experiences and feelings of the donor and recipient. Now you've given me something to think about.

Chrys Fey said...

That was my goal. :) Well, not to make anyone teary, but to prompt them to wonder what kind of impact they'd have on someone's life if they could donate their heart. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jen! I definitely believe a part of us is still with our organs even if the organ is in another body. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Michelle! I was nervous about sharing something so intimate about myself, but I just felt I had to. :)