We Are Not Afraid of Death, We Are Afraid to Leave Without Saying Goodbye
"We're not afraid to death. We are afraid to leave without saying goodbye."
Photo from: Flickr
A few days ago I heard a news from Grandma that my nanny when I was a kid passed away last month. Nobody told us when she passed away, Grandma knew when she visited her house in Sukabumi and when she asked about my nanny to the neighbors, they told her that Bibi (that's how I called her) has passed away last month. Grandma told Mum, and Mum told us a few days later after she was back from Sukabumi.
We are shocked and sad.
Nobody could believe when people they knew suddenly passed away. It's been a very very very long time never heard about her, never seen her, never try to visit her house when we're in Sukabumi. Last time I met her was high school I guess. She wasn't work for us anymore, she was just visited my house while she was in my town. And she met my first boyfriend, and she said he looked like some Indonesian soap opera actor hahaha.
There were very tough year for her. When one of her son passed away. The son who was ill that time because he fell down from tree, who gave her reason to leave my family. And we met her son, he couldn't sit, couldn't talk, even breathing was hard for him I guess. The son that she brought to our home once when I was a kid, sister usually fought with him because of some toys. God had plan, God took him. She was back to my family but she wasn't as strong as she used to. And she left again. And her other son worked for my dad, and he left my dad, and he tried to suicide. She was a widow, divorced from her husband. Can't believe how hard her life back then. And finally somebody told us that she became a traditional wedding singer in her village. I think she was happy. Grew old with her daughters and sons and grandchildren and didn't work as maid anymore. She successfully educated her daughters and sons became a worker, not a maid like her.
She taught me a lot. She was like my secondary parents at home. She took care of me and my sister. She was the one who taught me that "Don't think too much about small things". She helped my parents rise me. Suddenly I remember the song that she always sing, it wasn't dangdut music, it was religious music. I remember she asked if she can keep the cassette for herself or not, and my sister gave it to her. The lyrics was like "Sepohon kayu daunnya rimbun, lebat bunganya serta buahnya. Walaupun hidup seribu tahun kalau tak sembahyang apa gunanya? Walaupun hidup seribu tahun kalau tak sembahyang apa gunanya?" ("A leafy tree, with a lot of flowers and fruits. What's the purpose of living if you're not pray though you live for a thousand years?"). I will always keep that on my mind and my heart, Bik.
Some people said that it's better if people died because of illness, at least we are ready if someday they're gone. At least they are saying goodbye. At least we are saying goodbye.
She never say goodbye to us. That's why in my religion we should have to keep 'tali silaturahmi' to all people we know.
One day when I was a kid, I promised to her that I will give her a gift when I grown up and already have job someday. And now, this is the Someday. I don't get a chance to do my promise because she's already gone. I told my Mum about this and she said just give the gifts to her daughters and sons and grandchildren. Yes I will. And I pray for her, may God forgive all her sins, may God accepts all her pray, may God gives her the best place in heaven. Amen.
I also remember once she said "We shouldn't cry at the funeral. But I don't know why the tears always comes." Now I understand what she meant. Because no one saying goodbye when they are gone. Even saying goodbye is not enough. Because there're no "See you later" in the end of the phrase.
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Aqessa Aninda is a writer. Computer program code writer in the morning and fiction writer at night.
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