I think that I began planning the memorial service for Gross Anatomy
before the course even started. I think that in my general nervousness
about embarking on such an experience was a fear that I would not
be allowed the outlets that I needed to get through this.
My fears were in part justified. We were immediately saddled with
all sorts of work, exams, and academic responsibilities. This left
me with little time to reflect on the magnitude, honor, unpleasantness,
and spirituality behind what we were doing (cutting, sawing, digging,
pulling...) to a real, once live human being. My group didn't even
give our cadaver a name.
But, yes, I got through anatomy everyone did without
taking too many study break time-outs for reflection. The last practical
took place. Spring break loomed near. And we all seemed okay with
things. But, I had this nagging feeling that "okay" was not enough.
So I decided once and for all give both finality and a real beginning
to our anatomy experience by planning a memorial service with two
of my classmates.