My best friend's mum passed away two days ago, and I just knew it this morning when I was in a meeting with friends.

She was one of the strongest women I've ever know. She raised two kids by her own hand, while worked hard in the military. She went to meet my mum when my dad passed away and offered so much help to our family. She forever inspires me.

This is the third time I lost important people in my life since I moved to the US.

My high school best friend passed away in the first month when I arrived in Michigan. The maternal mortality rate is high in Indonesia. My friend passed away when she was delivering her third baby. I had not talked to her for a while, our last conversation was when she told me that when we were in the high school, I always wanted to be a journalist. But I never knew what she wanted to be. She was the smartest, she can be anything, but she was not sure.

By the end of last year, I lost a colleague, one of the most dedicated people I knew in human rights work. He was always cheerful no matter where we met, either in the court for judicial review, or during the protest. He was always so serious about his works, but also super chill out to lower down the tense during the coalition meeting.

The worst thing is that I'm forever in the wrong place. I wasn't able to see my dad in his last moment. I wasn't able to talk to my friend before she went to the operation room. I wasn't even aware that my colleague was sick, or that my mum's best friend was in a critical condition. I wasn't even able to call my best friend to show my support.

Death always leaves this strange empty feeling. It's beyond sadness, and untranslatable. Death always leaves scars.

When I was in the third grade, I asked some adults: when we die, then raised up after the trumpet sounds, will we wake up in our bodies, just as when we were human, do we wake up as light beams of souls, will we awaken as ghosts, or as shadows?

When I was in the third grade of elementary school, I believe there will be an adult who could answer that question. But nobody gave me an answer.

When I was in the third grade of elementary school, whenever I bow down in prayer, I always imagine being in an empty space. It was dark, and I am alone. In front of me was a magnificent throne. So majestic, but lonely. And that is the place of God.

So when I was in the third grade, I was convinced that God is a lonely entity. Maybe God calls us to die because God needs friends.

I no longer believe either on the throne or the God. But it makes me more comfortable to think that all of these good people are somewhere, sitting in their own glorious throne, watching us living our life from their beautiful place.


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