Sustainable Dying – Re-use and Recycle

This article on organ donation reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad a few months before he passed away. Planet with plant from Pixabay.com

His mum had donated her body to science, and he planned to do the same himself. Then we saw an article about donating your body, and realised that we hadn’t taken any of the steps to ensure that could take place – no forms completed, no notification made, not enough time left. He knew then that it was not an option for him.

I’ve always carried my donor card, but realising that it might not be enough, I’ve ensured in as many ways as I can that it is clear I am happy to be an organ donor should my varied odds and sods be of value when I no longer require their services.

I like to think my organs would be happy to have a second life, to be reused and recycled to help someone else. Previous owner: one careful lady driver 🙂

I also have multiple sclerosis, and again in the newspaper spotted a piece about brain donation to help with research. A talk with my specialist confirmed the details, and I have now signed up to the UK MS Tissue Bank. I particularly like the idea that my brain and spinal cord may get the opportunity to travel around the world if they are assigned to a project outwith the UK, which is certainly possible. I think they’d enjoy the trip, and why should they stop living simply because the energy that makes me ‘me’ is no longer residing here?

Two things to note: 

  1. the letter from the Cambridge medical students and the life stories of those who have benefitted from transplants in the articles mentioned above are inspiring – as are the stories of those brave enough to give a living donation (I’m not that brave!)
  2. don’t underestimate the strength, love and understanding of your family – choosing to donate needs their acceptance and agreement too

So go on, give your fantastic body the option to go on doing good after you’ve moved on to pastures new 🙂 

NHS How_to_become_a_donor

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Reading inspiration: Apocalypse Bookshelf

Oliver Burkeman’s article on reading ‘smart’ reminded me of my own approach – the Apocalypse Bookshelf. 

I love reading, but there are times I feel I’ve been focussing too much on a certain genre or two. I’m in a reading rut, which might be comfy, but is getting a little ‘samey’.

Inspiration comes from a challenge I set myself when working in libraries (it’s amazing what you think of when shelving books!).

Apocalypse Bookshelf
Pick a book…

The task is this…

Imagine this shelf, this random shelf I’m looking at now, is the last shelf of books on the planet.

(Cue mild bibliophile panic)

Now, pick a book and read it. 

Remember, this is one of the last books on the planet. One of the last chances to open a cover and be transported wheresoever the writer wanted to take their reader.

Sometimes, I’ll follow Lionel Shriver’s advice – the book is not ‘for me’, and reading time is precious, so I’ll take advantage of the fact it isn’t the last book, and move on to something else. 

Sometimes, you’re faced with a shelf of car manuals which, without a car to tinker with to add the practical input, don’t hold my attention for long.

Most of the time, however, I have the joy of learning something new, being inspired to try something myself, or just wallow in someone else’s experience. 

I’ve never made it through all the shelves in any library I’ve been in, as usually I get sucked into a new genre and follow the thread of synchronicity on to new books and new authors. It’s still my fix of choice for those days I have reading space and need new input.

Give it a go and let me know how it works for you 🙂