Bluer Skies and Brighter Stars
...A Letter From a Donor Mom

Dear Recipient:

Maybe you have wondered why I haven't written to you - I guess I kind of thought maybe you should contact me first. Why? I don't know. It just never occurred to me that I could write to you. This is still all so new to me, even after nearly five years now. It is as though my fog is slowly lifting. The stars seem brighter and the sky seems bluer. Life is beginning to mean so much more now. My laughter isn't as hollow - my tears are still there but not as much from the pain of my loss as from the memories and the hopes of what might have been.

I think of each and every one of you often. I pray that your health has improved significantly and you can now have blue skies and bright stars in your lives. I hope each and every day you will hug someone and tell them how much you love them and I hope every once and a while you will think of your gift and thank him also.

There have been times I've felt disappointed in all of you. No one has ever written - no one has ever seemed to care. I have contacted the agency to see how you all have progressed. I am afraid sometimes the news may not be good. On this upcoming anniversary, I will call again to see how you are. I do so wish you all good health.

There have been times lately I've read articles and letters from other donor family members who are angry, frustrated and feel the gift was not appreciated or even recognized. I can understand their pain. We all are desperate to have our loved ones remembered for who they were. At times it seems no one cared once the gift was given. We have felt forgotten and of no consequence. Speaking for our family, the gift was just that, a gift. It helped us deal with the sudden loss and to try and make something good happen from that loss.

As my fog has slowly lifted, I have tried to place myself in your position. What would I feel? What would I say? How would I express my outright joy at life to someone who had lost a loved one? Would I be rejected because I didn't appear grateful enough? Do I want to invite strangers into my life? Do I owe these people more than can be repaid? Is it easier just to forget where my joy came from? Sometimes the simplest is the most powerful. A simple THANK YOU says it all.

So to all of you this fine day - thank you. Thank you for the prayers, the thoughts, the unspoken and the unwritten words you have sent us every day. I now realize they have helped me deal with my loss and deal with my grief.

To all of the donor family members who still feel angry and hurt and forgotten: The gift we chose to give was out of love for our loved ones and for our fellow man. We gave the gift freely and we need to remember that. It has taken me several years to realize that my grief has been helped in many ways and the biggest way is through giving the gift of life and receiving all those prayers from all over this country.

Whether we are donor family members, recipients, or recipient family members we are all striving to deal with an issue of overpowering magnitude. Each of us will learn and grow and accept what has happened over time. It is not easy and this may be the forum by which we can express what we truly feel.

Thank you.

A Donor Mom