IMPACT OF GRIEF COUNSELLING
This is an incident which took place on 12th March 2003. On this day, I had returned early morning from a trip abroad. I got a phone call from one of our grief counsellors at SMS Hospital, Jaipur. A middle aged person had passed away in an accident. EBSR representative had begun convincing a relative of the deceased to donate the corneas. The FIR had been completed. I was asked to rush to the Hospital to talk to the relatives as they were not affirming that they would agree to do so.
When I came down from my flat, I recalled that I had disconnected the battery terminal of my car. There was no time to waste in an attempt to fix the battery & so on as 4 hours had already passed since the death. I grabbed my purse & hailed an auto-rickshaw & reached the Mortuary in the Hospital. After getting down I took out my purse & to my consternation discovered that it contained foreign currency & coins which could be of no use to the driver. I explained the situation to him & requested him to wait for some time until I finished interacting with the relatives of the prospective donor. The man was good enough to not only wait but came alongside me and was present throughout my talk with some of the persons who were the deciding authorities in allowing us to take corneas of their relative.
After a prolonged conversation, discussion, arguments , pros & cons, ultimately the relatives got convinced & agreed to sign the consent form. As soon as this was done we sent for the doctor from the Ophthalmology Ward to do the needful to harvest the corneas.
I asked our counsellor if i could return home since I was rather tired after a long journey & taxi ride from Delhi airport. He said that I could go home. When I came home in the same auto, I told the driver to wait until I could go upstairs, retrieve Indian currency & pay him off. I was absolutely amazed to hear him say that he would not take any money from me he had spent almost an hour with me going up & down to the Hospital from my home & return back. I told him that for his labour, time & cost of petrol, he must take the fare.
The auto driver told me that he had closely observed me working to be of service to humanity & for this noble gesture he would not think of taking any money. I had explained to him what EBSR is doing & how we are promoting cornea donation work to help blind people by bringing light in their lives. I felt very embarrassed that he touched my feet & he said he had learnt an important lesson that day & that he would try to be of help to his passengers & others who would touch his life.
This selfless act of a person who is less privileged than most of us left a profound impact on me too. The above incident brings a thought to my mind as under:
ASPIRE...........TO INSPIRE..........BEFORE..........YOU EXPIRE