I’ve had you for about six months now and some days I am more aware of you than others. A week can pass without me looking at you and then some days you are never put away.
Carrying you home on the tube was a weird experience; you’re in two big and heavy cardboard boxes. I’m only slight, it was an awkward journey and we certainly got some strange looks.
Once home I wasn’t sure whether or not to hide you from the children, I was worried they would be scared, but then I’ve always been very upfront with them about what I am studying so I decided to go for it.
Carefully opening your boxes, we pieced you together; the children cautious but fascinated none the less. I am not sure that they made the connection between a past human life and what lay before them.
I think of that connection often, I wonder what who you were, what you did, how you died, how you lived. I wonder if you donated yourself or if it was a brave family member who made that decision. I wonder if I could make that same decision.
I do know that I am incredibly grateful for what you teach me, something a model skeleton (no matter how well made) could never do.
And I am grateful for the sense of peace you bring me. That may sound weird, but not being religious I find death a little overwhelming at times and it can be hard to explain death to children without having religion as a tool. Having you here, to learn from, gives an on-going element to human life, one that my children and I can find comfort in.
My children have really enjoyed exploring bones of the body and interestingly my son’s nightmares have changed from being about skeletons to being about witches and monsters, since you came to live with us.
I shall miss you when it is time to give you in a month or two next year, but I hope that another aspiring doctor will learn just as much from you as I have.