We had to stop and ask ourselves the question "What would Jesse want us to do? What would Jesse want done with his body?" We felt that he would want to help another. So ... as hard as it already was we decided that we'd let Jesse be a donor. I guess there's a lot that can be donated even after someone has passed away. They can't "harvest" the organs, but there's a lot that they can use. The corneas, the skin, and other tissues. My dear friend Ranelle Wallace who had a near death experience and wrote the Book "The Burning Within" (amazing book by the way) told me that they can make a large graft from just one inch of skin. They can also use the long bones and other tissues.
One of the most difficult conversations I ever had was talking about what was to be taken or not, and harvested. I don't know if there's a way to prepare for such a experience, maybe to be more informed before hand. To understand how it works, and also how it blesses lives. The people who worked with us were helpful and kind.
I wasn't prepared for just how invasive the process would be on Jesse's body. He had over 16 feet of incisions on his body. They also did an autopsy, as his death was unattended by a medical Dr, so there were those incisions as well. The incisions were leaking and so the put cotton bandaging over then and wrapped his body in plastic. I hate the whole embalming process. The body feels like plastic to me after it is embalmed.
Here's a poem I wrote for Jesse and those who have donated or been the recipient of a donor, and for all the families who are touched by this process.