Heart Matters

I bumped into a retired director I met about 4 years only to hear more about his amazing journey. When I met Francois he was physically very ill. He urgently needed a heart transplant and had been on a waiting list for close on two years. It was an extremely stressful time for him as he knew he was really living on borrowed time.

Recently I had an update. He was admitted to hospital again at the end of 2012. Unexpectedly he heard that there was a donor and he underwent a very successful heart transplant operation. Four months after the operation he had an email from a medical doctor in another country stating that they had something in common, his son. He then told Francois that it was his son who had been the donor. He said he knew it was against protocol but he had to contact Francois.

Their son, an only child, had been in his early 30s: fit and healthy. The weekend before he and his wife had renewed their wedding vows. They then went away for the weekend with another couple. One evening he had been standing on the patio and fell over backwards, hitting his head on a block of concrete. Although he was alive his parents decided to turn off life support when they realised the extent of his condition. Their son’s death gave a healthy life to four other people.

The father had asked if it would be possible for his wife to meet with Francois. It was an extremely emotional meeting, as you can imagine. She gave him precious clothes that had belonged to their son. Before she returned overseas to her husband she asked to see Francois again. She shared more stories about their son.

As she was leaving she asked Francois if he would mind if she felt his pulse……. And then she asked if she could hear his heart beating – her son’s heart beating………

And so as I was witnessing this retired director’s story, I couldn’t help but be reminded of just how precious life truly is.  How does a parent survive losing a child? And how does one find reason to carry on when something so precious has been taken away from you. And then I think of Kahlil Gibran’s piece on children:

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”


Posted in Heart and soul stories, Mind-body connection and tagged , .