It’s been almost three weeks since Ridwan Landasan passed away. I was in Subang with very limited reception when the news spread. I couldn’t mourn properly until I finally got home and able to cry on my husband’s shoulder. But how do you mourn properly? Maybe it is to kneel down and pray beside your grave, trying to touch what is left, tomb stone and soil. I don’t know. I don’t even know whether the grave looks the same up there in Zamboanga. I tried to take a deep breath, maybe there’s bit of your one last breath. But eventually I can only live with what can actually be found – A memory of you. Being a woman who tends to forget, I was surprised to realize that I remember many pieces about you and two of us – hours of conversation while facing the Red Sea, when you picked me up from Zamboanga City Airport with Father Sebastian, and when we abruptly bumped into each other in Philadelphia. With all the unexpected meetings, we were so sure that our path will cross again soon. Maybe in Istanbul, Indonesia, or any part of the world, doesn’t matter because you are clearly a world citizen. But I guess it won’t happen again anytime soon. It’s still very hard to wrap our head around the fact that you’re no longer here. We’re poking our ear, not believing what we hear. Scratching our eyes, not believing what we see. Yet you are gone. Nothing is fair from losing you. I can no longer write to ask how have you been doing. No one knows where your soul went after it departed the body.
You are one of the most beautiful souls that I have ever met. You are kind, humble, yet I can see fire in your eyes, burn with spirit and dreams. Each of everyone who got the opportunity to know you was blessed and inspired. Your eyes are now closed, but your fire is still burning. Maybe other people will continue carrying your dream and ambition of a peaceful world. Maybe not all of us, because human are too busy pursuing our own ambition. But love, kindness and compassion are the most powerful inspiration. Of course they’re also the most difficult ones, but I think I can try to carry them on.
Rest in peace, Kuya! See you soon somewhere in the clouds. We love and miss you.