In the place where my father came from, death is a truly important matter. Oftentimes, I have a feeling that it is even much more important than the life itself… as if life is a part of the death, but not vice versa. As a kid growing up with such cultural background, I have come to learn to see death differently. Death, in the place where my father came from, is glorious.
But nothing could console me when I got the news that our beloved friend Haddy passed away on 19 November 2019. It broke my heart. Any cultural explanation failed. I remember it was Saturday night in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and I could feel the sky fell apart upon me.
In the next 24 hours or so, I mourned. My morning coffee felt more bitter. The day was done before it was even started. I went to the beach in the south to try to console myself… to look for the answers to the questions I did not even know who to ask to.
Why her? Why did it happen to her?
In the next 24 hours or so, I tried to recollect my memories of her. I remembered that night in her place in Bornsesteeg where we, the Emily (MLE class of 2016), had our first chapati party. I could almost remember Haddy smiled to me and teased me as I could not finish her hand-made chapati. From now on, whenever I see or hear ‘chapati’, I surely will remember her.
In Wageningen, whenever we met each other, he almost always called me ‘Hi Baby Boy!’ with her high-tone voice, the one that you cannot hear from anybody else. Not in Wageningen, not in Indonesia, not in anywhere in the world. Haddy is Haddy. She will be missed. Her smile, her out-of-nowhere choices of words, her ability to live up the group and party, her dance movement, her warm heart.
If one asks me one or two words to describe her, I would like to remember her as someone who stays true to herself. You cannot find that attitude in all people. So, I am really grateful to have a chance to meet her and to be her friend. “Really??????” she might respond me, with her typical tone. Yes, Haddy. Thank you for the memories.
Rest in Peace, our beautiful soul.
Till we meet again.
(Jogja-Jakarta, October 24th, 2019)