Grieving at the Beginning of December

On November 30th, 2004, I read Kidy‘s posting in his blog. He posted about Lion Air crashed at Solo and Bouraq‘s accident at Makassar. At that time, I browsed to Detik News to read full articles about the crash. I didn’t notice in that day about news on TV because I was so busy at the clinic and that day was so hectic.
When I browsed to Detik News, one of the articles mentioned the name of the victim on that tragedy. I read one by one, if there’s any name that I knew. And I found one! One name.. Frans Natanieliem.
At first I was shocked, but I thought, the name might be same but maybe not the same person as I thought.
On December 1st, yesterday, me and my friends were talked and discussed about this Lion Air tragedy. I told them my anxiety about one of the victim’s name, might be someone I knew.
Today, December 2nd. One of my friends, Helvine, asked me what is the name which I talked about. I answered, “Frans Natanieliem”. She replied, “Where did he live?” I said, “On Veteran street, but he got relatives also stayed at Dr. Sutomo street, where we used to rent some comic books.” Then she told me that the name might be the same person as I thought, because last night she was passing-by the street and she saw some banners and flowers in front of the house.
Aaargh! Now I am shocked!
Frans Natanieliem is a great brother of my bestfriends when I was in junior high school until now. I.. I.. Hmm now I’m wordless. I can’t think more words. My friends name, Monanita and Monalisa Natanieliem. They’re twin. I pray, wishing Monanita-Monalisa and family given a really big heart for this tragedy. May the Holy Spirit encourage them. Can’t type more words.. I’m totally wordless.
Here’s a picture when I was in junior high school, my picture with (from left to right) Monalisa, Monanita, Lia and Siska (Siska passed away on year 2000 because of leukemia):

Here’s the last photo with Monalisa Natanieliem, taken on 2001 at Mal Taman Anggrek, Jakarta:

This tragedy also reminds me that I am not the controller of my own life. I’m not the pilot of my own life.
Life is short and fragile. Life is a gift of grace. It must be maximized and used to its utmost. Being reminded that all of us will die and give an account for how we lived our lives is not often welcome, but it is essential.
Each of us will one day be the main attraction at a funeral. People will say nice things about us, shed a few tears, haul us to a cemetery, stick us in a hole, throw dirt in our face, and then go back to the church building and eat chicken.
That’s not meant to be irreverent or cold. It’s just the simple truth.
Life will go on even though we are gone. The impact of our days on earth will be measured in how we have utilized the life we’ve been given.
Being reminded of this for a few moments by the passing procession is a healthy thing in a culture that avoids thinking about death at all costs. Each of us needs to pause and remember our own mortality from time to time.
As I’ve learned in the World Trade Center tragedy, Bali tragedy, place crash’s tragedy, every person who dies has a story, a family, a void that no one else can fill. Let’s not forget. Let’s not rush past. Let’s show a little respect.

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