An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukaemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl’s IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, “How soon until I start to die?”
- We have to learn how to die before we die so that when we die we won’t die!
- Dying is about giving, giving your life! Rarely is one asked to give up his own life for someone else. Yet, we are invited daily to make decisions to love and forgive one another. This withholding of judgement, giving the benefit of the doubt, unconditional forgiveness are all part of the “dying before we die”.
- Fullness of life is about giving. Giving freely to the world, what has been given to us – to give. Giving with childlike innocence.