As you navigate your path to healing, we offer suggestions for remembering and staying connected to your loved one. You may also find it beneficial to connect with other donor families on similar bereavement journeys or write a letter about your loved one to the person who received your loved one’s cornea.
Though your loved one’s formal funeral or memorial service may have already occurred, you may find it helpful to continue everyday rituals of connection, such as listening to your love one’s favorite song or cooking their favorite recipe. Explore this resource to learn more.
There is no one way or right way to grieve, but it can be helpful to connect with others who are navigating similar journeys of loss, healing, and renewed hope. Learn more about our community of donor families and how to engage with them, when you feel comfortable.
The decision to write to your loved one’s cornea recipient is a personal one and entirely up to you. For many, it offers comfort during the grieving process. Cornea recipients also consistently express appreciation for the letters they receive and welcome the chance to learn about the person who provided them the incredible gift of sight.
If you do write a letter, we recommend:
- Only including information that you feel comfortable sharing about you, your loved one, and other family members. This may include occupation, hobbies and interests, or perhaps special things that your loved one enjoyed.
- Using first names rather than full names to help keep identities anonymous. You may include the state in which you live, but avoid street addresses, city names, phone numbers or names of hospitals or physicians.
- Since the religious of your loved one’s cornea recipient is unknown, please consider this if you are including religious commentary.
- Reviewing this sample letter to a cornea recipient.
To send your letter, please mail it to SightLife at the address below in an unsealed envelope with a cover sheet attached to it that contains your full name, your loved one’s full name, and the date of their cornea donation.
This entire correspondence should be packaged and sent to:Family Services Manager SightLife
1200 6th Avenue, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101
Please keep the following in mind:
You may or may not receive a response to your card or letter. Some cornea recipients like to wait for their surgery to heal before writing. Others feel overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their gratitude through written communication. It could take several months or even years before they feel comfortable writing you back. If you do receive a letter from your loved one’s cornea recipient, we recommend you pick a quiet time to read it, when you have minimal distractions and can give it your full attention. It may also be beneficial to have someone there to support you.