Group honors organ donors in Rose Parade, helps families grieve

Orlando Sentinal | Jessica Inman

Less than a year after her death, which led to the donation of her corneas, Gail Givoglu was honored with a floragraph on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

"I think that it's part of the grieving process but also a way to celebrate their life and the aspect of organ donation that lets them keep on living," said sister-in-law Wendy Givoglu.

It's one of several ways that organ-procurement organizations, tissue banks and eye banks reach out to the bereaved, including memorial ceremonies and opportunities to bond with survivors of other organ, tissue or cornea donors.

"It blurs the line between life and death," said Lisa Dinhofer, owner of Koden Consulting Services, which trains professionals in dealing with death and trauma. "It's a very unusual situation to be in. They know their loved one is dead and gone but there is the knowledge that parts of them are still here. Continue reading