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.