To My Donor’s Family

| November 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

We are connected, though never met

For the loss of your son, we share regret

I received his heart, so strong and young

He inspires me, a better man to become


The joy of grandchildren, unfolding tomorrow

Will be tempered forever, by our sorrow

You should know each and every day

I bow to you and your son to pray


I wish to comfort, and hold your hand

Perform a gesture, so you understand

My humble esteem, for his organ sharing

A brave decision, so tender, and caring


You see the sadness that, always is there

Is the bond that we, forever will share

Our journey forward, will not be swift

Your courage inspires, my care of his gift


His heart replaces, mine so frail

My pledge this journey, is not to fail

We are connected, by our shared regret

For the loss of your son, I never met 

One of the ironies of the transplant program at Tampa General is that patients are not permitted to contact the donor’s family until the one-year anniversary. As my one-year anniversary was 11-02-10, the thought of how to say what needs to be said has consumed me.

At TGH, an organ recipient can submit a letter to the transplant review committee. The committe then decides whether or not the timing and submitted material are appropriate to forward to the donor’s family. At this point, there is no direct communication between the parties.

Over the past year, I have had so many thoughts about the young man and his family. Sometimes, their sorrow must seem unbearable. And, here am I blessed with a 25-year old heart at their tragic expense.

Rather than a letter, I opted for a plain language poem. For some reason, poetry conveys emotion and has a feeling of permanence. Preliminary indications are that the submission was approved for forwarding. I look forward to a direct line of communication, as emotional as it will be.




Hiland, Transplanted 11-02-09

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2 Comments on "To My Donor’s Family"

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  1. Ann Daly says:

    How inspiring and thoughtful a gesture Hiland!

    Your poetic personal thoughts are insightful while given a second chance in life and hopefully your words will be inspiring to other families of someone else who offers or receives a future transplant!

    Take care.

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow what a great poem. Would be great to give to my donor family. My donor was a 30 year old male.

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