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Monday, April 8, 2013

Where’s George?

My lifelong partner, my husband for 64 years, and my best friend, died of heart failure on March 28. He was 89 and he was ready to go. 
That will explain why I have not been posting for the last month.

At the Visitation and Celebration of George’s life last week, people would have noticed that there was no body present nor was there an urn of ashes. Instead we framed the following statement beside his picture:

It was George’s request that his body be donated for the advancement of medical education and research.  On his death, arrangements were made through our local Provincial Department of Health with the Inspector of Anatomy Services, for his remains to be transported directly from the hospital to Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, the University Medical School where our daughter received her MD.  There his remains will be used to teach medical students and for research. 

This summer we will have a family Memorial and plant an oak tree in his memory at our summer house. George’s ashes will be returned to us in due course and be used to nourish the tree.

George was a museum man and writer and gave of himself throughout a long life in which he was privileged to play a role in seeing that the history of his Province and Canada were preserved for future generations.  With the donation of his remains, he continues to give of himself for the good of others.

George was the love of my life and as I mourn that he is gone, I am comforted by the realization that he lives on in my memories and in the memories of those of us who knew him well.  I like to think that  a person like George is never really gone.  I feel that, in a lovely way, he lives on in those he knew and influenced and, through them, to younger generations.  Rie


  1. I am sorry for your loss. You have given George a wonderful tribute here. It sounds as though his memory will give you comfort in the time ahead.

  2. I came here via Confessions of a Grandma (Olga), by clicking on her sidebar. I have not read your blog before and it is so sad to visit at this time. I cannot imagine how it feels, although someday I will also be there. You have written a very nice tribute and you are a wonderful partner to post this for us all. I wonder if any research would want my body someday. He was very wise.

  3. So sorry to hear of your loss. I am a widow myself so I know how hard it is. It's like losing a part of yourself. I don't comment often but read your blog regularly. It is always interesting and informative.

  4. I am so sincerely sorry for your loss. I also want you to know that for much of my life I have been teetering on making the leap from 'organ donor' to 'body donor' like George chose to do. Your post here has finally given me pause to make that final decision. I think this is a gift that knows no bounds, it supplies endless possibilities for future generations. Thanks to you and George for your donation to science.

  5. Seeing my father widowed after a 52 year marriage gives me a very small inkling into what you are going through here. I am so sorry for your loss. I also love your blog and I love that you and George made the decision to donate his body, stalwartly and without any worry about anyone else's notions of 'what should be' at all. I remember being very young when a friend was cremated, having always been a lover of science and the idea of organ donation then cremation myself, realized how the funeral was different than all the others I had attended. Is there a better gift you can give of yourself to the world than to give your body to science to cure the ills of the next generation? I'm not sure what it is if there is one.

  6. My condolences for your loss.

    What fine memories you must have of your long and loving marriage.