What I Said to an Audience of 700 Grieving Souls

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Below is the transcript from my speech Friday night. I can say with genuine honesty that these words came as pure inspiration to me. I didn't even begin compiling my thoughts until that morning. I knelt down and said a prayer and immediately the thoughts spilled onto the paper. This was my only draft and I scarcely had to think once I put my pen to paper.

I don't think I wrote this talk. But I'm so grateful I got to present it in behalf of all the donors in the Intermountain West. I was truly humbled. I can't begin to tell you the tales and the tears that were shared with me following the event. I will carry the sacred experience with me into my final days of pregnancy and into the delivery room and beyond. These beautiful souls gave me the last bit of strength I need to endure the end of this pregnancy.

Tonight I'd like to talk about scars. Some seen, most unseen. I know everyone in this room has them. I want to tell you a little about mine.

Of course I have the usual scars one accumulates during childhood--a small scar on my upper right eyelid from the gash I probably deserved after falling off the bed and onto the metal bed frame at 2 yrs. old. I was monkeying around of course.

Or the scar on my knee I earned in college while midnight rollerblading the streets of Provo and hitting an unforeseen patch of gravel.

I have the small and unseen scars of past unrequited loves and deep disappointments, loneliness, and hurt.

But nothing compares to the scars I live with now. The scars that only those of us who have lost a loved one can understand. Sometimes we're the only ones who can ever see them or recognize them in others.

Before I tell you too much about how I got my deepest scars, I want to share a quote with you from a book I recently finished called, Little Bee. Little Bee is a Nigerian girl who witnessed and survived horrific tragedy in her country, as well as enduring 2 years inside a British Immigration Detention Center. She implores the reader, ""I ask you right here to please agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret."

The soul-searing pain and opening of my psychological wounds began on a beautiful Sunday in May of 2008. After primping for church and finally making it out the door with my soon-to-be 2 yr. old daughter, Lucy, we sat restlessly in our pew for as long as we could manage before needing to take her energetic bundle out to the foyer for distraction and consoling.

When we realized she wasn't going to settle down and got her strapped in her car seat to leave, I handed her a small Tupperware of thinly sliced apples. That's when she began to choke. That's when I called for my husband and he administered the Heimlich maneuver. That's when my eyes locked with hers for the last time. That's when friends and medical professionals poured out of the church building to assist us and eventually the life-flight helicopter landed and whisked her body away.

That's when I knew I would never be the same. The irreversible wounds would become scars I'd carry the rest of my life.

But the deepest cut came when I held my daughter in my arms and the organ harvesting team wheeled us down the hallway to the "yellow line" where I gave my daughter's body away. I knew that scar would be the most beautiful.

I heard later, after Lucy's grandmothers reverently dressed her for the burial, of the long and precise scars on her body where her perfect little organs were extracted to save the lives of other scarred and scared souls.

Not only do her recipients share her organs--they share her scars.

For every grieving face I see her tonight, there is another living face out there in the world--sharing the scars of your loved ones.

In 7 short weeks I am due to give birth to a little girl on my Lucy's birthday. Bringing her into the world will be painful and no doubt, leave some scarring. But the beauty that comes with this new life will be worth the pain. A healing balm.

I know everyone here tonight has scars. Deep wounds that are still very tender and raw...still bleeding even. Others perhaps have "tightened" and hardened over the years--but they are there.

I want you to remember our earlier agreement we made with Little Bee about our scars being beautiful. Sometimes people have to look away because they see too much beauty-- and we can't blame them.

So be proud of your scars. And the MORE-THAN-HONORABLE scars left on the bodies of those we love and buried.

THERE WILL BE HEALING. You will experience your own healing balms in your life that will help soothe the sting.

Have faith that your scars will become more elastic and you will be able to bend and stretch and live your life with greater range of motion--embracing the scars you share with your departed and knowing you hold a beauty, wisdom, perspective, gift, and knowledge--that the scar-less will never know.


  1. Bravo, Molly. Beautiful and touching. And, so true. Hugs and much love...

  2. beautifully said. God bless you and your family

  3. Love it!! Truly an inspiring talk! Thanks!
    Jan Taylor

  4. What beautiful words Molly!!! I LOVE love LOVE your blog.

  5. This isn't the first time you've brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure it won't be the last. Thanks for sharing that.

  6. That is so beautiful, Molly. Thank you for posting it. I resolve to love my scars.

  7. Thank you for sharing this, Molly. It's a wonderful perspective that I will continue to ponder.

  8. Oh Molly... you have an amazing ability to write in a way that touches everyone that hears/reads your words. If you were to put all your entries and talks into a book format, I would be the first one to buy it as I would forever cherish your moving, real, raw and wise words.
    My love to you.

  9. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing it. I've been contemplating a lot recently about my scars and even though I would change the circumstances that gave them to me if I could- I wouldn't change the scars themselves or who I am now. I truly appreciate things more. Yes I'm more broken and scared and more anxious, but I also appreciate the times when I'm happy and when I am able to laugh. Thank you so much for your blog.

  10. Simply Beautiful, Thanks for sharing.

  11. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us. I also think it is amazing and no coincidence that your little girl is set to make her entrance into the world on your angel Lucy's birthday. What a beautiful day that will be. Much Love, Cassi

  12. Oh, my gosh. You definitely wrote words that were sent from heaven....I attended the Donor Services celebration several years ago in tribute to my little great-niece, Makenzie. Her parents, Kendra and Ryan, lost their precious baby girl when she was almost 5 months old to SMARD. That evening was a beautiful moving tribute. Organ donation is an incredible selfless act so that others might have a better life and be able to live. You are amazing, strong, incredible woman. Your words and life are a tribute to your daughter, son, and soon to be new little one. May you continue to heal and bring joy to those around you. Have a wonderful day today.

  13. Beautiful. I need to read Little Bee.

  14. I Love it Molly! So beautifully put and so very true. Made me cry in the best way, thank you so much for sharing it.
    Love Ya

  15. I follow your blog and always enjoy you and Vic's entries, thoughts, inspirational talks and moments that you share with us. Thank you so much. A few months ago someone commented that giving birth and raising this new little girl coming would be bittersweet. It will not. It will be just one big ball of awesome and blessed and fun. Speaking from experience ~

  16. Inspired, indeed.

    And you the perfect vessel.


  17. It was such a blessing to be able to hear from you last week. It was the highlight of the ceremony. My husband and I quietly wiped away tears as we listened to your talk. Seeing Lucy's picture while you spoke was so touching - what a beautiful daughter! Thank you for your words of comfort.

  18. Beautiful, Miss Molly. You are gifted, indeed, and I love you.

  19. What amazing words. Well done.

  20. Beautiful and truly inspiring.

  21. I have been thinking about you this week. Tuesday was the 11 year anniversary of Andrew's kidney transplant, and of course organ donation is on my mind all month.

    I LOVE your "scar" talk. Way to go!!! It brought a tear to my eye just reading it, I'm sure that there wasn't a dry eye in the room hearing it directly from you. You are one of my "Sheros".


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