Living a meaningful life after death

A funeral for the “quiet teachers”, those who donated their bodies for medical research, was organized on July 14 by students and professors at the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Incense and white lilies were given to the dead in a cremation ceremony held in the university’s hall.

“They are people that I know.

I meet them twice a week and they taught me several things, not only anatomical knowledge, but also the beauty of donating a body to research.

Today I feel like I am seeing off a relative,” said Nguyen Huu An, a sophomore.

Since 1993, the university’s faculty of anatomy has received more than 17,000 applications and 500 bodies donated for medical teaching and research.

“The donated bodies are considered invaluable by the students, pharmacists and teaching staff.

Although quiet, they have taught us a lot,” said Le Van Cuong, head of the faculty.

If life is a valuable existence, then donating a body is an act that prolongs that meaning.

Although passed away, they continue to live in their family’s notion, in their contribution to help doctors prolong other people’s lives.

At the ceremony, an aged woman, Le Trung Kien, could not help but burst into tears as she held a medal awarded to her deceased sister, Le Thi Trung Duc.

Three years ago, after Duc’s last breath, the family learned that she had registered to donate her body to research.

They respected her will and have always been proud of her.

“She did a brave and meaningful thing.

Over the last three years, I always feel that she still exists, contributing and living meaningfully,” said Le Trung Chanh, Duc’s brother.

Similarly, Vo Kim Hoa said that she never thinks her husband has passed away.

Hoa’s husband was a security guard, while she is a janitor at the city’s Phu Dong primary school.

Childless and living a poor life, her husband told her that only their bodies are valuable, and they should do something meaningful to society.

One day several years ago, her husband rode her on a bicycle to the university and they both applied to donate their bodies to medical research.

Two years later, Hung had a stroke and died in her arms.

“Seeing that my husband is still useful after he has passed away, I found death to be less scary.

I hope I will be meaningful after I die,” she said.

Also seeing off her husband was Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, who had tears well up at the ceremony.

Her husband, Hoang The Binh, decided to donate his body after learning that he had late-stage kidney cancer.

“I hope his corpse will help doctors find ways to cure people with serious diseases like him,” Hang said.

Over the last two years, Hang has been going back and forth from where she lives in Binh Duong Province to Ho Chi Minh City to visit her husband every month.

“Every time I come here, I feel like my husband is still here working,” she said.

In the ceremony, some families had up to 60 members there to see off their deceased relatives.

Although missing their past relatives, they have nothing to regret.

“I used to think that if a body is not buried properly, the soul will still be imprisoned.

But the truth is, I believe my brother can be relieved as his aspiration has been done,” said Nay, Binh’s sister.

 Source: Tuoi Tre Online

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