January the 3rd

January 1995 – He took my mom

Off course I cried aloud. I didn’t know what I was crying for. Perhaps I was just crying because I saw my dad cried while holding me in his arms.

I was just too young to know what it meant to leave or to be left—and how it would actually feel.

When those people started to nail that black wooden box, I cried even louder. I didn’t like to see my mom being trapped in that box—what if she couldn’t breathe? What if she felt cold?

The night after the funeral, I couldn’t—and I wouldn’t—sleep alone, so I slept with Dad. I kept crying to sleep, with Dad’s hand caressing my head. Then I realized that his hand was trembling; he was crying, in silent.

Days and days after, I just couldn’t count how many times I have cried again and again—just too much.

But I never saw Dad crying—not again after the funeral.

One night I asked him, “You’re not crying. You don’t miss Mom?”

And his answer was this: “There are always reasons to cry, but there are always MORE reasons to hold your cry, and continue living.”


Yogyakarta, 3 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom




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