Monday, April 28, 2014

The gift of life

I am very excited to announce that I have landed a job with Lifeline of Ohio as their new media and public relations coordinator! I could not be more thrilled with becoming part of their team. I received the phone call the day after my other job officially was quite serendipitous.

Lifeline is an organization that promotes the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. I was amazed when I learned how many lives could be saved or enhanced through donation.

My personal journey with this topic is through my dad. When I got the call last January that he had passed away, my world was cracked into pieces. I called my best friend, my dad's friends, my family...I was on the phone for hours. Crying in anguish. At about 11 pm, I turned my phone off. When I awoke around 4:30 am, I turned my phone on again to find that I had two voicemails.

One of the voicemails was from the hospital and the other was from an organ donation center in TN wanting to know if I would give consent to have my dad's eyes harvested. By the time I called them around 5:00, the eyes had already "expired." Honestly, I felt conflicted. I never knew I would have to answer that question on behalf of my dad. And then I was thinking about his lovely blue eyes in someone else. It was a gut-wrencher. But I knew that my dad would want to help someone...he would have done it in a heart beat. I would have given consent, of course....I just missed the deadline. Part of me still feels sad about that. My dad could have lived on.

Dad and Sadie - this was his favorite picture...and mine too.

During the interview process, I was asked this question:

Jessica, we deal with life and death. Are you comfortable with the topic of death?

How unfortunate is it that I am "comfortable" with that topic? In my phone interview, I told them about my dad's story. In the in-person interview, I had to watch as three people took in the news that I had lost both my mother and father in the span of nine months. I felt bad for having to inflict that upon them. . 

During the interview, I also talked to them about empathy and sympathy. I feel like I know how to talk with someone who has lost a loved one. I've had it all in the past year. People you want to slap because they tell you how you have it "better off" than they do, those who think they can explain it away, and those who just sit with you. This video is perfect in my mind. I often share it with people who ask me how they should be comforting a friend in their time of need.

For now, I am going to tuck into bed and think of my great new job. I am really looking forward to next week and beginning a new journey in my new hometown.


  1. dear Jessica,

    some things are meant to will be such an asset, and do such a fabulous job in your new work. I wish is could congratulate the folks at Lifeline of Ohio, but so very glad to be able to say, "YAY, Jessica, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxo

  2. Congratulations! Wishing you every success with your new job - and it's another thing we have in common - communications and public relations is my background too :-)

    1. I am very, very excited....and hesitant as well. I love the field that we are in :)