on grieving

we all have experienced it, that choking sense of despair due to the loss of someone so dear to us. we are, after all, deprived of a loved one, and this sense of loss is profound. writing about the dead is a strange realization. in the process of recollecting, reminiscing, and retelling you begin to understand them in a whole new way. you unearth a newfound significance behind their once unpopular intentions, and somewhere between the knowing and the recollecting, a seamless merging of their conflicting identities happens.

my grandfather was a man living in three eras, when Indonesia was still colonized by Dutch and Japan, then after the independence of the country. on 1945, or when he was about 18 years old, he remembered that he had to choose for Indonesian independent. I am told that my late grandfather used to be an adopted son, for even though his adoptive parents were very much a wealthy merchant, they did not have children. on the first days of my grandmother’s funeral, i have been recording my short conversation with him. i told him that at the time i have started working so he just need to know that his granddaughter doing really good as a being thanks to his continuous prays.

as i listened to the recordings, i felt this feeling of lost i could never describe. i have never thought that not being able to talk to him again was making me this sad and listen to him alone triggered me that well. i then remember when suddenly on last days of Ramadan some years ago, i saw him making ketupat from real scratch, starting from weaving the coconut leaves and fill them with the rice. i so remember my grandmother was telling me not to interfere him, still this mischievous girl just never listened. i asked him to teach me how to make ketupat, making the process of making ketupat became longer than it should be. for the past years, when we ate Ketupat Sayur during Lebaran, it is thanks to my grandfather who’ve made it. my grandmother couldn’t even weave it.

on what would have been his 93th birthday, my late grand father finally completed his duty as a human being. this post is dedicated to my late grandfather, who had been passed away on last Saturday.

PHOTO BY: KRISTINA TRIPKOVIC FROM UNSPLASH

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