They Blew Up Great-Granny by Terveen Gill


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.

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43 comentarios sobre “They Blew Up Great-Granny by Terveen Gill

  1. While reading the story I was thinking that something devastating was coming but the postscript left me feeling really appalled. What is this world we have created where nothing is sacred or to be trusted anymore? Not even a death wish. Thanks for creating awareness about this actual possibility, so vividly and clearly. I’m sure many of us will now re think some post death objectives.

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    1. Thank you for reading, Diti. It does make one think that trust is no longer a reliable word. It’s appalling and disgraceful. We often live our lives with heavy hearts, and death represents the fear of the unknown, but this revelation can only make one wearier of it all.

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  2. Dearest Terveen what a sad way to lose your grandmother. (If that story wasn’t true for your family it is a beautifully written story. ) However, the horror at the end makes me absolutely sick to my stomach and I do plan to read this piece as soon as I can. I will open the link up, copy my browser so I can read it later. Nothing is sacred even a last wish as Diti Sen describes above. I am shocked by this great lie. Thank you so much for your beautifully written story about a horrible disease and thank you also for uncovering this horrid truth. Blessings dear Terveen, Hugs, Joni

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Joni. It’s a work of fiction but the reality behind it is despicable. Who can one actually trust in this day and age? There’s deceit lurking in every corner. One just has to be lucky not to be consumed by it. If this is what this world is coming to, then maybe it’s time for a reset. Humans are their own worst enemy.

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  3. This is true horror. I didn’t see this coming at all, and then to discover this sort of thing actually occurs was beyond shocking. The Reuters article has a truly macabre flavor to it, too: the former head of Biological Research Center (the company selling bodies to the military) is named Stephen Gore. What an apt, if grisly, moniker. This really is like something out of a Stephen King story. Thanks for sharing this well written, brutal tale with us, Terveen, and opening our eyes to a nasty reality about which most of us are oblivious.

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    1. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to read. Reality is definitely two steps ahead of fiction. The word human is morphing into all sorts of terrifying meanings. As if those alive aren’t enough to exploit, the dead have been added to a list of money making strategies. Makes one want to vanish into thin air. Just sad and appalling.

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  4. This is so wild. I felt like I was the only one that knew about this, and I wasn’t sure if I was right but apparently I was. Years ago I was thinking of donating my body to science when I die. When I looked into it I saw that one of the things your body can be used for is to test explosives in the military. On the one hand I thought that was kinda cool but also rather unnecessary. It’s a bomb it’s gonna hurt people why do they need to see the extent? I thought it might be nice to be of some use after my death, but I don’t really want to be contributing to the war machine. Anyway it’s a crazy thing and I’m not surprised to see there’s shady business involved. I’ve heard stories of places giving back ashes that didn’t even belong to the deceased. Pretty wild being a human, even a dead one. Good stuff, Terveen. No one’s really talking about this.

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    1. I’m glad you have some idea about this, Tony. I think it’s so important that people are made aware of this shady (horrifying) business. Contributing to society or progress is one thing, but being a piece of meat to gauge the power of destruction won’t be appealing to many people. Let those who want to do this decide for themselves, but cheating people is plain despicable. And who knows about ashes that come back. They may not even belong to a human. That’s the extent of madness and evil going around. Take care and be careful.

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  5. Jesus H. Christ as Americans would say. Is there no limit to greed?
    I always think of a Scotsman who had a café in Covent Garden. I stopped there once a while ago. Had a nice coffee and chat. He told me with a thick Scot accent:
    «The main prroblem in the worrrld today is grrreed.»
    I thought he was exaggerating a bit then but he was absolutely right.
    (I went back to Covent Garden last summer. Couldn’t find his café. A shame… he must ahve moved on.)
    Grrreed, I tell you…

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