A Letter to my Cadaver ( In loving memory of those who donated their bodies to Science)

Hello sir, I hope your spirit is peaceful and calm wherever it is. I am also doing well in the world you left behind. I don’t know you but I appreciate you so much for having given me an opportunity to learn. Your body lies lifelessly on an aluminum table at the center of our anatomy laboratory. You are one among many that chose to give back to science in the most generous way, giving yourself. Only the brave dare to do so.

Did you imagine of being here one day? I guess you admired medicine so much that you decided to find your way to medical school, even if not as a student but as a teacher. You are the best teacher of anatomy. You teach us about yourself in a way that no living being can. I want to be a surgeon. I am going to have my first cut on you, you are the one I will always think of when I think of medicine or even surgery for you are my first patient.

As I look at your pale body, all I can see is dreams that were never realized, songs that were never sung, stories that were never told and hope that was never inspired. What is this that terminated your pursuit of happiness? Were you a victim of war? Or were you a victim of road carnage? I don’t know but I guess you never died a natural death, something in my mind tells me so. Let me not be so sure, perhaps you never chose to be here, may be you were brought here against your will or maybe no one rose to the occasion to claim your body when you called it a day.

Anyway, life must move on. Years have changed things; I am enjoying every bit of medical school including working with you. I will always look forward to Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for we shall be together, drinking from the pot of knowledge. I guess most girls will freak at the sight of your body but I will encourage them that you are a living being, the only difference between you and us is that as our bodies are nourished with blood, yours is nourished with formaldehyde. You are tough, tougher than many men I see around, you are fighting decomposition by all means, please fight on for my sake and the sake of others that we share the same destiny.

I believe that I shall acquire a lot from you and I will never be the same after that. My love for you will sustain me every Wednesdays and Thursdays on bright summer mornings as well as dark howling winter ones.

With great love,

Kiaye Oliver, MBChB.