I want to share a story…a story of gratitude, privilege, and honour. As a writer, I am often asked to help clients with personal and advocacy projects but this one holds special meaning.
A couple of week ago, I received a call from a client who needed a resume and cover letter. During the course of the conversation, he asked if I could help him with a letter. I agreed and asked for details.
Gerald (not his real name) told me this story.
A couple of years ago, Gerald received an organ transplant from a stranger. He wanted me help him write a letter to the donor family. WOW! What an honour for me to help this dear man express his gratitude to this anonymous family. I asked a few questions and made some notes. Gerald shared that he became very ill after a long chronic illness and would have died within 6 months if he did not receive a transplant.
A few days later, after pondering what to write on his behalf, I sat down to begin. How might this family feel? How might Gerald’s children and grandchildren feel about their Dad/Grandpa being alive due to the generosity of a stranger’s family? How would I feel if it was my Dad or husband who died? How can words express the gratitude and the miracle of life? If I was a donor family, is there anything anyone could say that might help?
I put together a few paragraphs expressing Gerald’s gratitude and thankfulness and sent them off. The next day, he sent me an email telling me that it was perfect and he would send it along as written… no revisions required.
Here is an excerpt from the letter. To preserve my client’s identity, I have removed and/or changed some details.
This is a difficult letter to write and I imagine a heart wrenching letter for you to read. Please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of your loved one.
Thank you for the gift of life.
I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude to your family for your selfless gift of an (organ). Words cannot convey how grateful I am that you made the extremely difficult decision to donate your loved one’s (organ). Without your family’s generosity in a time of devastating grief, I would have died within 6 months.
Every day is a gift to me. Every day, I am thankful for my miracle. Every day, I remember your family. I wish you and your family joy, peace, healing, and much love.
In gratitude and thankfulness,
I feel so privileged to share in Gerald’s story. It is an honour to be asked to help with such a special project… to be a small part in a profound mission… to make a difference. I was invited into the intimacy of Gerald’s life and the life of his donor family. I am filled with gratitude and humbled by his trust.
Are you a registered organ donor? Does your family know your wishes? Please have the talk with your family and register as a donor. I encourage you to give the gift of life and bring hope to another family. Be like Gerald’s donor’s family… be a miracle.
I love the challenge of helping my clients with advocacy projects and letters.
Do you have a letter to write that you can’t find the words for? Maybe… just maybe… I can help you.
Contact me for more information.