Waste not want not
For me, the decision to donate dad's organs was obvious, but it was not easy. I always knew what my dad thought about an issue, even if I didn't want to know! Dad was a man of strong convictions and an incredible work ethic. He was funny, tough and incredibly clever.
I knew dad would want to donate his organs. He was very pragmatic, why waste what could be used? However, trying to discuss this decision with your family is incredibly hard. We were in various stages of shock, grief, anger and bewilderment. I think dad's strength of character was the deciding factor in helping us to make the decision to change another person's life for the better. Amongst the confusion I focused on the people that might have been waiting for years for an opportunity to live a healthy life.
Our family had spent three days in the intensive care unit of the hospital hoping that dad would survive. To then switch our mindset to contemplating his death and organ donation was a significant shock. Like my father, I'm very pragmatic and practical. I knew it was the right thing to do. For other members of my family, processing this information was too much to comprehend. We talked and we fought, until finally the decision to donate was made.
The comfort we have, knowing that dad was able to help so many other people is very important. Dad was an optimist. We believe in looking for the good amongst the bad. Organ donation was our hope that dad's strength might provide a new beginning in life for an organ recipient.
Organ donation presents a very unique and sometimes overwhelming decision to families, but its potential to create powerful change makes it more than worthwhile.