Dri, inginnya abu mu nanti disimpan atau ditabur di mana, Dri? Why?

Saya tidak ingin abu saya disimpan. Why? Because I wouldn’t want my grand children (if I ever have any) to be in the awkward position of having to hold on to the ashes of someone they barely knew. If they will ever know me at all.

Ideally speaking, I would like my ashes spread in Grand Canyon, Arizona.. because I remember how breathtaking it was. Short of that, I’d like my ashes to be spread in the same waters I spread my sister’s ashes in 2010.. off the coast of Pandawa beach, the south tip of Bali.

Hi Vipey, I lost both of my parents. My mom passed away in 2006 and my dad 5 months after that. And now I can remember less about them. Im afraid that someday I cant remember anything about them. Ever feel the same? -SL

It depends on how old you were in 2006. I lost my dad sixteen years ago, and my sister five years ago, but I still vividly remember exactly how they were. Well, both also had very strong unforgettable personalities.. so that might contribute to my memories. I also noticed that over the years, I tend to quote the little things they said, or tell my friends funny stories about them.

So if you are worried about not remembering them, I suggest you write down those “little things” in a private blog. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or detailed; just little snippets that stayed with you after their passing. An online scrapbook of memories, of sort. It might come in handy when you have your own kids one day, to show them where they came from.

How would you like to be remembered?

How would I like to be remembered? In 60 to 70 years, I doubt anyone would even be aware that I even once existed. So yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much on “how” I would like to be remembered. This isn’t a pessimistic way of thinking, mind you; it’s just plain fact and I am perfectly fine with it.

As I’ve always said, despite our narcissistic obsession “meneruskan keturunan” and whatnot, even we have no idea who our great grandparents were. Neither do most of us care. Again.. plain fact.

I once had a patient, she was so critically-ill dan ga pernah ada yang jenguk, until the day she died. Her niece came only once when she was admitted and said that she’s not married and hence doesn’t have kids. Aren’t you afraid of being alone if you don’t get married? Because I do..

Dying alone sucks, yes.

But do you want to know what sucks even MORE than dying alone?

Living more than half of your life with someone you:

a.) don’t like very much

b.) used to like, but not anymore

c.) just barely tolerate

d.) hate, but “yah.. demi anak2 lah..”

I’ll take 4 weeks of wet diapers and dying alone, instead of 40 years of living with someone I’ve grown bored of. If anything, your soul will die decades before your body goes.

So it’s an easy choice.

Adrian.. “Shadow and dust” maksudnya apa ya? Apa artinya buat kamu?

You are referring to my tattoo, right?

It’s from the movie Gladiator (2000), a monologue by Proximo:

“We mortals are but shadows and dust, shadows and dust, Maximus.”

Maximus is stating that human life is ephemeral.

The word shadow is used as a reference to Plato’s cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave), and the word dust may be a biblical reference:

Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

And what does it mean to me?

Exactly that… to remind me of my mortality, and that I only have one life to live. That concept doesn’t quite jive with the biblical reference, but what they hey, right. 🙂

As you know, for the tattoo I had it translated to Japanese. Interestingly enough, the japanese spelling for “dust” is the same for “pride” or “honour”.

Vipey, bagaimana ibumu menghadapi kepergian suaminya? Bapak saya meninggal 3 tahun lalu, dan ibu saya sampai sekarang lebih suka ngurung diri bahkan jarang mau ketemu kami anak-anaknya.

I’m sorry to hear that. Dan maaf ya, saya akan jawab dalam bahasa inggris.

That’s not uncommon sih. I have a several friends who lost their fathers, and their moms spend the rest of their days just watching telenovelas in the bedroom. And some never recover from it, mau segimanapun usahanya my friends to get their moms to go out and have a life. I don’t know… 3 years is a long time. And if she hasn’t recovered by now, it won’t be an easy task. Do you have older relatives who can talk to her? Maybe an uncle or aunt? Losing your father was devastating as it is, and for your mother to exile herself must make it so much harder for you.

I’m very fortunate that it didn’t happen to my mom. As dedicated as she was as wife and mother, I can say that she truly enjoys a “different” type of life after my dad passed away. Before she lived for my dad, and her entire life was structured around him. But now she goes out with her friends, teaches an english conversation club, and pursues her hobbies. She said to me “kalau tidak menyibukkan diri, pasti akan sedih terus.” So I guess it’s her way of handling grief.

She also tells me stories about her friends.. or what she calls “cerita2 janda”. And yes, those include stories similar to what happened with your mom. She said biasanya terjadi karena sewaktu suaminya masih hidup, terlalu tergantung. Ada yang sampai tidak tahu caranya ke toko sendiri, atau bahkan menyeberang jalan. These things happen over 30 to 40 years of conditioning.

I think your best bet is to have her friends (or older relatives) come over and take her out. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of a push. I hope things get better for you, and please let me know how it goes.