Death is painful for friends and loved ones left behind.
When we were young, somebody’s departure would be felt emotionally – but rarely affected our conscience. As we get older, when an old friend, a family member departs, it hits us emotionally and mentally. It makes us think and reflect of the short span of the entrusted time. When somebody leaves us permanently, so would the jokes, the shared moments, and the things that would appear meaningless to those who are not in-the-know. Another reminder why I wouldn’t really enjoy being forever young, if all of my friends are leaving one. by. one.
This afternoon I heard the news that an old friend of mine had passed away. He was only in his mid-40s. We crossed paths when I was still working at Citibank in Jakarta, and he joined Marketing as a temporary intern in the late 1990s. He was the kind of guy who was sensitive, intelligent, and funny. He once held my hand and suddenly said, “You’re a freak. Your right brain and your left brain are equally as strong.” Whether that was actually true or not, who knows. That piece of trivia is deeply ingrained in my brain, and I associate it with him. When one day I came to work with a stiff neck, he somehow did a quick massage on my neck that loosened it and did the trick.
After leaving Citibank, he dabbled in investment banking and then found his calling as a holistic health practitioner. He jokingly said that he had become a ‘dukun’ (a witchdoctor). We don’t communicate much in the last twenty years. Life does that to friendships – but at least social media platforms give us enough info on how everybody was doing.
So, Reza Gunawan. I remember I used to tease you by calling you ‘Belge’ due to your Belgian ancestry. I also used to be totally silly and sing the chorus of Madonna’s “Ray of Light” by changing it to “Ray of Zaa”. I also remember sharing an interest in Brand New Heavies and Incognito. These little things float away with your departure, as you’re the only other person involved in these mindless jokes and trivia.
Have a well-earned rest, my friend.