Posted 07-25-2003 at 10:46:58
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I have this newspaper clipping that I carry around in my wallet. My Mom handed it to me the day after my eldest sister's funeral, and asked me if I would read it at her funeral when her time came. That was many years ago. I still carry the clipping around, and some day I will pass it on to one of my kids to read at my funeral too.
It goes like this:
At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my "deathbed!" Call it my "bed of life", and let my body be taken from it to let others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face, or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person who's own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who has been pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all my prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my soul to God.
If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.
If you do all that I have asked, I will live forever.