Daily Archives: October 9, 2013

Finding Meaning In The Loss Of A Daughter: Saving Others

Catherines Award (from Worcester News) Click to enlarge

Catherine’s Award (from Worcester News) Clicke to enlarge

For the record, I have three children who are ‘oiks’ but I love them! They make me laugh, drive me mad, have made me lose my hair! (actually that’s probably genetic but I blame them) and cost me money! But I wouldn’t be without them.

So I cannot imagine what it feels like to have lost a daughter who was only 38 – but the Amies Family, don’t have to imagine it, because it has happened to them.

Now, I’m no stranger to death- it comes with the territory of Chaplaincy. And every death is a tragedy; no wonder it is called “the last enemy” in some religious traditions. But the passing of a beautiful young woman of 38 seems to me senseless. So much to give; so much to do and experience; and neither my theology, nor any other view of the world, can fully cope with this. Religions tend to speak of a life after death (and let’s hope that’s right) but even if you have another world view, it is possible to make a some sense out of Catherine’s passing, as impossible as it seems. And if that sounds like I’m preaching or pedalling easy answers, I’m not. I’m just conveying what the Amies family say in the article above.

Toby, Catherine’s brother says: “If there is any point to death, especially a death that seems way too soon, surely it has to be to improve life, to urge those of us that remain to live better than ever before?”

Amazingly, Catherine did that as he life ended. By donating her organs she save and improved the lives of five people.

And Michael, her father, has also made the world a better place. He is Chairman of Worcestershire Acute Trust Organ Donation Committee and works tirelessly campaigning to get others to register for organ donation.

Helping someone to live after your death makes a difference to the world. After all my life is diminished by the death of each human being.

To my shame, I realise that I am not an organ donor. But because of Cahterine’s story, today I will discuss it with my family and register for organ donation at http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

And so Catherine was posthumously honoured with an award presented to her parents at St. Jame’s Palace; rightly so.

And in a personal email in which Michael invited me to post Catherine’s story, he moved me immensely when he said:

“By all means use it if you would like to! It was a great occasion for us. But mainly for Catherine, who would have loved the ceremony.”

Fining meaning in loss is precarious work. Let this family stand as an inspiration.

Catherine's Parents at St. Jame's Palace

Catherine’s Parents at St. Jame’s Palace