What I learned while holding a REAL human brain

The weight was heavy not because of the organ but what it represented. This brain, which has one belonged to a human. A human that wasn’t with us anymore. The weight of that responsibility was crazy. The fact that people had memories, heartbreak. Some lovely moments and fights are stored in their memories of the person who had passed. The person whose brain I was holding. It was such a surreal experience.

I went to a hospital to learn more about the human brain. Now as a student, you have certain privileges that people who aren’t students (or academic professionals) don’t have. I love being a student because of this reason alone. There I was staring down at a real human brain, I had seen pictures before and diagrams of course. But holding one, that is something else. I learned a few things which I would like to share. I also want to quickly add that those brains we saw were there for educational purposes the family/the person gave permission. They don’t just take your brain out of your head in the hospital. For a lot of studies in the medical field, there is no other way to learn things than by seeing them. If we want professionals we need to accept things like this.

We have a skull luckily
When you are holding everything you are, you can’t help but think about the fact that a skull is something wonderful. It protects your whole being. It protects your body from so much harm. It’s incredible. A brain is so fragile but your skill holds it in place. It protects you from harm which is amazing.

Humans are truly amazing 
Human bodies are the most inspiring thing in the world. We saw all sorts and you can just see, how someone died (which is sad), what doctors did to save someone’s life. And in some aspects even how someone lived (an unhealthy lifestyle is something you can see in someone’s organs). Organs keep us alive. We breathe, think, hear, and feel because of our organs. We can eat and work because of our bodies. A body is such a wonderful thing to have.

Life is short 
I do generally really love life and I feel very blessed that I am alive. For some people, it is really hard to enjoy life and to release how short it all is. People do die, every day. That fact alone makes me feel blessed that I can live yet another day. No matter if it is because of circumstance, an illness, or something else. A life lost is a loss. I think it is important for people to understand how blessed they are to be on this earth.

Importance isn’t measured in size 
There are parts of the brain that are important for let’s say emotions. Those parts of the brain are so small, you can hardly see them. The structures of the brain are tiny sometimes. Because we hear so much about them it sometimes feels as if they are really big but that couldn’t be further from the truth. How something so small can do such big things? It’s also really hard as a neuropsychology student I hear a lot about things like cerebral hemorrhages and how damaging that is for someone’s brain. I can just imagine the big damage a small hemorrhage can do. It puts it all in perspective.

How amazing that you are you
What are the chances that you are you? Your mum and dad got their genes together to imperfectly perfect create you. You have all these organs and all these ideas and memories. All because your genes tell them to. Your brain makes you remember things. It makes you able to grab something, to hold it. You are amazing just by being you.



Lots of love, Melissa

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