Saturday, 25 October 2014

Gone with the Fog

I just got off from a phone call with my cousin. They are in the church right now, getting ready for my grandmother's memorial service. She will buried today at noon, Jakarta's time. None of my relatives look sad anymore, but perhaps they have each other and they got to see my grandmother for the very last time. Meanwhile here, I have been pretty stressed out. My stomach was feeling really weird and all I wanted to do was eating. Memories of my grandmothers keep popping up in my vision. And it was so real since the night she passed away. Waverly was pretty foggy on Thursday and Friday evening. I happened to take a stroll around the bridge. 

The fog just suddenly reminds me of her. Her peaceful and calm-self whom I used to see the morning I woke up and the night I went back from school or internship. Her thin grey her and how soft she speaks.

The fog is now how I will feel about my grandmother. You can see the fog, but you can't touch it. I can still see my grandmother in my vision, but I can't touch her anymore. Grandma, I will always remember you when the fog comes again. 

I guess I don't have someone to blame anymore for giving me a name of "Setio Nastiti". A name that I thought was too Javanese and traditional. But that name will be name I carried for the rest of my life. A name that will be seen in newspapers and television. A name that I can proudly say now that "Eyang Uti name me Rut, Rut Setio Nastiti. Eyang, I love you so much. I wish we could see each other one more time.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Memoir of My Grandmother's Death

I have never been deeply saddened by any death before. And this is mye first encounter of a death that is real and close to me. 

I have been on Fall Break today so my schedule was pretty loose. Stree free-zone. When I woke up this morning, I saw my dad's chat on one of our family groups on WhatsApp. He said that my grandma (from my father's side) was hospitalized at 10am Central Time so it was 10PM WIB. He only said "Grandma is in the hospital. Please pray for her." I told my friend about it and we thought she will be fine. She had been hospitalized before because of her stroke. I was so sure that she would do just fine and will go back home the day after that. 

Time passed by. It was 4pm and I was ready to go to work. I felt nothing strange. I was just doing my work. It was not until 6pm when my coworker told me that my phone was ringing. I told her "Oh, I think that's my alarm". I did not even feel like reaching out to the storage room. Eventually, I did. 

I received a personal text from my dad.
" Your grandma is in the critical situation. Please pray for her,". I freaked out. After all, I never received any text from them telling me she is in a critical condition whenever she was in the hospital. I know at that very moment, it must be serious. 

I left the childcare to Facetime my parents. Soon, the situation got worse. I did not want to cry but I did. Seeing my grandma from my phone screen struggling with an oxygen tube and a cardiac aid was not a pleasant moment. My dad kept telling me to pray. I know at the very moment, I just wanted to be around her via Facetime. So I told my co-workers I was leaving. Fortunately, there were not many kids. 

I got back to my room and I just busted in tears. All my family members kept telling me to pray, so I did. I kept praying Out Father for 36 times. My mum told me that when you are really in need, that prayer will grant your wish. I kept praying. I was also trying to talk to my Grandma "Eyang, this is Rut. Your granddaughter who is now in the USA. Eyang, remember I'm going home this Christmas. Can you just stay a little bit longer?". I had a feeling that she could hear me. I could still see that her chest move upside down. I know she could hear me. 

An hour has passed.  My mum told me to find the prayer for people who are facing their death. I found it and prayed it to her on the phone out loud. Just a couple more minute after that, my dad said "Literally, your grandmum has died. But we just had to follow the medical procedure. We are going to pray right now."

My dad led the prayer. I never heard him crying so blatantly like this before. There are only three times I have seen him crying. The first time was when his father passed away. He also cried when I was leaving home for the first time to go to Italy. And this time, is a cry like no other. He abruptly stopped in the middle of his prayer just to cry. I can imagine how crushed his heart is. Imagine, your mother, the person who gave birth to you, is now DEAD. 

My feeling was so mixed. I was just crying and calling my mom. I was trying to blame something, someone, anything. But my mum said there was no point to do it now.
My grandma has passed away.

It was 7.15 when she was officially pronounced dead. I saw them taking of all the tubes from my phone screen. For a second I had thought that she suddenly moved her hands and woke up again. I remember there was a time I kept telling her to move her hands so the Doctor knows that she was not dead. But she did die . And she is dead. She has passed away.

Now it's time to pronounce to the world of social about my grandma's death. I was just crushed. But I felt like she deserve a moment of admiration. She deserve a spotlight on my Facebook what a wonderful grandma she was. The world need to know that my grandma was a character. So I did.

"My grandma is happily returned to and with the Lord today. She has stroke and had a breast cancer, but she had survived her cancer. Though she has been hospitalized several times, she lived her normal life. And last night, her stroke was attacking her again. She was tired this time. And God wanted her to be with Him and my grandpa. My grandma is a wonderful woman. She always prayed for her children, in-laws and her grand children. Though she was 81 and her vision is getting blur, she still read Bible every morning of her life. She still went to church whenever she felt that she could make it. She is a legend in the church. She let the people to use her house as a church. People from the church always say hi to her "Hello, Eyang. Happy Sunday? Apa kabar?". 

We have lived with her for almost seven years. Though, I have been living abroad after our first year living with her. Whenever I went back to Italy or the U.S, I always whispered in her ears "Eyang, we'll see each other again next summer or next year." This summer I did not go home but I went home the summer before. We also thrown her a birthday party for her 80th birthday in July. There were around 300 people coming. Anyway, we always got to see each other over summer. Though, not the summer of 2014. I guess it was overdue. I wish I had whispered her again.

For the last seven years, we are just getting closer with our grandma. She is just a part of us. A part of my mom, dad, my brother and myself. We never forgot to buy her things she needed. Or if we went to eat out, we always bring a carry out for her. She loved to ear. She ate a lot too when we ate out with her. Whenever I was home, she always came to my room just to check. Or if I looked pretty and ready to go somewhere, she always asked where I was going. She always said "Ok. Take care" and watched me walking until I really left the door. The last message she told me was not to take dating seriously. I bet she knew I had a boyfriend. She cared. She really did. I will miss her presence and curiosity. Something I won't find when I'm home this Christmas. I already imagined that I will get to see her and as usual, and brought her gifts. But I guess my grandma was too tired and she could not longer wait for me to go home. Those are going to be good memories. A memory of me coming home only to tell my grandma that we were going to see each other again."

Rest in peace, Grandma. Mrs. Srimulatsih Sutomo. Eyang Uti. Eyang Srimulatsih. You will be always dearly missed. I know you are in a better place with Jesus now. He wanted to celebrate Christmas with you. He loves you too. You're going to meet Eyang Kakung soon. I will miss you. And I already am. As I am crying right now finishing this line. I am glad that you were not by yourself spending the rest of your life for the last seven years. You had mom, Steven, dad and mbak. I will see you when I see you. Please pray for me. I will make your proud me. I love you dearly, Eyang. Rest in Peace. (1933-2014)"  

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