Welcome to this edition of the MANSAG Newsletter.
About 10 years ago, I was completing one of those forms where you are asked if you want to be on the organ donor register. As I had always done with these forms, I left the box unchecked. My wife asked why I did not want to be on the register. I thought hard about her question, and I said, “I don’t know”. Maybe I was a bit unsure, perhaps even a bit scared, of returning incomplete to Mother Earth when I die. What if the Resurrection or Reincarnation were to happen, might being incomplete hamper my chances? Naturally such reflections led to questions I had never contemplated. My wife wanted to know – did I want to be buried or cremated (and would I want some of my ashes to be kept here in England and the rest to be sent back home to Nigeria?).
“Hold on”, I said to her. “How would someone whose body has been cremated to ashes resurrect?” If I chose to be buried, how would my parents and siblings feel when they see my body and learn that the surgical wound in my tummy is where my organs have been harvested from. I didn’t think that my family was ready to have this kind of conversation (organ harvesting/donation) with me back then. By this point in the conversation with my wife, even I had had enough of the morbid subject. My Naija instinct was to circle my hand over my head, click my fingers above my head and say, “God forbid” or “I reject it”. But we were talking about death. I knew (as I do now) that it would come. After much reflection, I ticked the organ donor box giving consent for my organs to be harvested upon my death so another person on the waiting list for organ transplantation might have a second chance at life. I was agnostic and totally unsure about Resurrection or Reincarnation, and if they were real, I had convinced myself that God would give me a pass mark for my sacrificial donations and helping another person. And if I was wrong about God then I was a dead man! Literally.