Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm a donor.

The first time I was ever introduced to the concept of full body donation was reading the book "Stiff."  I was a huge fan of Six Feet Under at the time and this book was on the show.  I remember being slightly creeped out and yet oddly fascinated by the book.

I have always been an organ donor.  If I could die and help someone else...why not?!  I didn't even think about the fact that there are options for full body donations.  I'm not sure why I hadn't.  I know medical students at times have to deal with a cadaver...I'm not exactly sure where I thought those bodies came from. I guess I was having a where do babies come from moment!

When I learned that both of my in laws were full body donors it made me admire them even more for two reasons.  One, they were giving all of themselves in their passing with the hope that they could help someone after their death.  Two, they were keeping the family from having the burden and cost of any funeral.

I've never been a fan of the funeral.  I've been to quite a few, both with and without viewings, and I just don't get it.  Especially for me, I have no desire to have a viewing.  I'd rather remember that person alive, not the made up version of them lying still in a box.  I'm also not super "religious" so maybe that is part of it.  I always figured I would just be cremated.  No burial of my body, no burial of my ashes.  If you want to have a gathering, have a party.  Celebrate my life, don't huddle around my body to mourn.  Again, to each their own so no criticism for those that choose a different path.

The family received a wonderful letter from UC Davis with regards to Bob's body donation.  They gave their appreciation and indicated that once the body is used it is cremated and the ashes are sprinkled in the ocean near San Francisco.  They have a memorial once a year hosted by the students for those families that would like to attend.  I just find this absolutely beautiful and have printed all my paperwork to finalize my own decision to donate my body.

The average cost of a simple cremation in $1500, a funeral/burial $10,000.  This is such a great option for someone that wishes to do neither and take some of that burden off the family after passing.  If this is something that interests you, I highly recommend you look into it.  Most UC systems offer this service, and if you are here local this is the link for the UC Davis program.

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