Yesterday I met the man who received my cousin’s kidney. This in itself is a miracle. A miracle because modern medicine has allowed another person to continue living. My cousin passed away. It was a tragedy and an extremely sad time for my family. It was like a cloud covered my vision and thoughts. I understand now what people mean by a black cloud surrounding them. It was no longer just a description of sadness, but became concrete.
He committed suicide. He was kept alive for almost a week, while we prayed that he would come out of this coma. I sat by his bed, holding his hand and speaking to him, then pleading with him and finally begging him to return. I played a beautiful song about being invisible (assuming that is what he must have felt, the reason that he attempted to take his life). It was a song sung on the Grammy’s but a new younger singer. The fact is, I will never know why he did it. I don’t think any of us will ever know. His family searched his room and found diaries, journals and letters. I don’t believe that this will truly give an answer.
The man who got his kidney certainly deserved it. It was grateful. He endured our stories about my cousin. He allowed us to take pictures with him and his family. He patiently answered questions about his life, never declining to answer anything anyone asked him. At times when I asked him about his life, I felt like I was invading his privacy. But he smiled, and answered them. His body language never once told me that he was uncomfortable with us. He didn’t need to come forward to thank my cousin’s parents or grandparents or any family member. Yet he asked to meet with us.
It is still difficult, more than a month ago to think that my cousin was with us. He too was kind. He had an amazing smile. I have no doubt because of his compassion and selfless demeanor, that he is more than happy to have given this life to another family.
I will always miss him. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.