It took great-granny from us. She lived with it for four years and it slowly consumed her.
By the time she passed away, there was little left to her. She was a crumpled figure cruelly hollowed out and emptied.
But she was still great-granny. A woman who had left her cheerful mark upon us all. And we would never forget her.
She believed that a person must always remain useful, and death was no exception to the rule. Before the dreadful illness had captured her brain completely, she had made an inclusion in her will.
Brain to be donated to science for medical research.
She was a feisty lady, always thinking about others, hopeful that researchers would study her degenerated brain and find a cure for the unforgiving disease.
We honored her wishes and handed over her body after signing a form that explicitly stated – for medical research only, prohibiting all non-medical experiments.
Within two weeks, they returned her ashes, cremated as promised, barely filling a small box. But great-granny’s spirit could never be contained, and I imagined it soaring over the mountains, challenging the winds, intimidating the birds.
Three months later I discovered how wrong I was.
A Reuters reporter landed at our doorstep. Her disclosures backed by photographs and documents never meant for our eyes. Evidence that wrecked my mind and devastated my heart. We didn’t want to believe, but it wasn’t about us or what we wanted.
It was about the truth. It was about the lies. It was about great-granny and many like her.
The ashes we had received were only her hand, amputated at the wrist. The rest of great-granny had been sold to the military for about six thousand dollars.
Her brain was never used for the research of dementia. She became part of an Army experiment to measure the damage caused by landmines.
They blew up great-granny.
And I know for certain, more than us, she must be damn furious!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story may be a work of fiction, but it is based on a very disturbing truth. Please read The Body Trade to know more about the business of cashing in on the donated dead. I am horrified and disgusted.