One thing I've been putting off doing since my transplant is write a letter to the donor family. It's a completely optional service that the Triiliam Gift of Life Network provides for the donor and donor family.
According to the pamphlet I was given, the Human Tissue Gift Act requires that everything remain confidential so I can't include my name or any identifying qualifications, nor will I receive any identifiers if the family wishes to contact me.
The letter is suggested as a way to thank the family but every time I've started to write something, I get tripped up. A thank you note seems insufficient. Plus, isn't it weird that I'm thanking them for having someone in their family die? I know it's meant more to thank them for their decision, but I struggle with that as well because in my head I'm screaming "Of course they choose that their loved one would be a donor because that's what should have to happen!!!!"
On the non-selfish side of me that isn't trying to get out of writing the letter, I'm sure the family would enjoy hearing that their decision has
changed my life for the better. If I was in their place, I think I would
like to know. I'm just struggling to know where to start. "Dear family, I'm doing great. Thanks." seems so impersonal but if I start writing too much, when will I stop?
How do I express how completely overwhelmed I sometimes feel by everything that's happened? That I was able to cycle for 40 km on Thursday or that I could walk up a hill without having a coughing attack? Or that I no longer have to sleep on a stack of pillows to avoid waking up in the middle of the night coughing or struggling to breath? The changes that have happened are endless that my letter could ramble on and on. Of course it hasn't yet because I'm struggling to write anything more than "thank you."
I've really put this off long enough and need to get on it. Although the pamphlet does say it's encouraged to do it within the first year so maybe I can put this off and in 6 months I'll know exactly what to say.