English, Memoir, Racauan

Treating Death at Home in Jakarta

Treating your dying relative at home today in Jakarta could mean a lot of trouble. 

My uncle had complications disease for more than 10 years. After my grandparents and his twin younger brother died, he lost the will to live and his condition was deteriorating both physically and mentally. The extended family decided to took care of him at my grandparents’ home, suspending the selling of the house. 

My uncle was an ex drug user of the 90s. He went to Islamic Boarding School for years after rehab. His organ started to failed one by one. Long story short, he died at home after his lungs failed, threw out blood from his mouth, nose and ear. It was a mess.

We called a nearby health center to confirm his death. Our mistake: we did not asked for a written statement. After we buried him, there was a lot of complications that took weeks to resolve. This story is written so you, dear readers, won’t repeat the same problem.

First of all, if possible, don’t let your loved one died at home in the first place. I know dying in a familiar place is many people’s wish. But the world is for the living, and if the person have chronic disease, no matter how low the hope to survive is, better stay at the hospital. Especially if, like my uncle, the disease is contagious.

Secondly, if you really can’t help it and need her/him to be at home so badly, prepare the number to call for any emergency, including death. For chronic disease that has been going on years or decades, hell, prepare the documents: death documents to be signed by the doctor, or even the will of the sick person. Inheritance is one of the thing that, like it or not, breaks family and need to be talk about.

Thirdly, if the disease is chronic or contagious, and you can’t bring the body to hospital or funeral service either because you don’t have the money, or if it’s tradition to prepare the body at your own house, make sure you have phone numbers of hospitals that have specialty in that disease so you could hire a nurse or specialist to take care of the deceased. Normal funeral home in Jakarta mostly does not want to deal with infectious disease such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, or skin disease.

Fifth, prepare also the cleaner service from the hospital, who will use disinfectant in your home. Funeral home need to be really clean before and after the corpse got her/his last respect. It will cost you money, don’t hesitate to asked other relative to donate.

Fifth, go to nearby health center. Ask two things: first yellow bags to put medical trash, and second permission to put the medical trash in their bin. In Jakarta there is no law that regulate this. And if the health center bin is full, you got to take the medical trash somewhere else. The health center use outsourcing companies to take care if their medical trash, and the truck that takes the trash come once a week.

Medical trash are anything that leave liquid, organs, syringe, hair, or belongings that got stained by the deceased patients body, like sheets, clothing or utensils. This trash can be overwhelming. You can use your own car to bring these trash to the health center, but remember to clean your car with disinfectant after. If you want to hire the outsourcing company, prepare around 300USD. In the health center, it’s free so long as you are polite enough to talk to the care taker. Because these are not in their job description and they are doing it to help you. Your trash will not be written in their logbook, because, like I said, there is not yet a regulation for it.

Death certificate is the hardest. Without death certificate, it’s hard to make other legal documents, such as dealing with the cemetery, or inheritance problem. Now, if your deceased loved one, like my uncle, does not have doctor/health officer legal written letter pronounce her/him died, it will be a bureaucratic hell , going back and forth from your district head, to regent head, to health center, to hospital, to collect signatures from these people so they can pronounce the death. And also signatures from families and neighbors. It was really tiring.

If the death certificate has been issued, you can start to handle other problems such as inheritance, for example. Now that’s the thing that disinterest me the most. So this is the end of the story.

Good luck.

Cinta, Eksistensialisme, English, Puisi

With You

With you I do believe in magic
and fairies, and omen, and sacrifice

With you I do believe that I can endure
persevere, and nothing can stop me but death

and death is the ultimate magic of all
it is the one absolute, most powerful
and certain with zero possibility:
an end to unpredictability of life

In death we can be sure
what comes around goes around

And in death separation is closed
in life, separation could have closure

What’s after death? Nobody came back to tell


After life? Death. Done.

Memoir, Photo Essay, Portfolio

A Birthday after A Funeral

Hamlet teaches us the irony, when his mother and his uncle were married and having a wedding party a few months after his father’s funeral. However, Hamlet and Hamlet alone felt the sadness and that irony.

On November 11th, my dear mother, Ratu Dyah Intan Irawati, was having a birthday party–the saddest birthday party in her life. A day before, her sister passed away. She was the closest to her compared to many of their relatives. She met her a few hours before her sudden departure. Ratu Happy Komala Dewi, RIP, was preparing my mother’s birthday before she died. She was the one who gave the idea of the venue.

Of course, the party was not actually a party. The irony got real sharp, when near our table, there was some people who were really partying, with live music and all. When the hotel gave their birthday services, they sent a singer to sing happy birthday. Of course the singer was trying his best, to make everybody enjoyed the party–which of course was not a big success.

This is some selected photos from that event.

 

Prosa, The Dance Room

The Dance Room (part I)

image

She opens the door. Her apartment is pitch black. She turns the lights on. Her world is black and white. She wears black: black dress, black shoes, black scarf.

Obviously, somebody just died. Like the color in her eyes, the lines on her face. Everything’s black and white and grey. Grey as in between. Her body is the vessel in between. She wants to cross over, but she hesitate. Is life worth living?

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