What they don’t tell you about loss.

You will feel this deafening silence because of the absence of someone you used to interact with all the time. You will begin questioning where this person has gone. You will feel this huge waves of regret feeling up your chest. You will have memories come rushing back to you when you visit a place, listen a song, hear certain words, smell a certain scent, see a certain people. You will realize that songs, places, words, scents, people, they will remind you of a little piece of that person. You will also begin to wonder if this is all a dream or not. You will feel there is a missing piece. You will wonder what the person would have said or done if she or he were here. You will cry for days and skip meals cos you are not hungry at all. You will begin to wish you could turn back the time just so you could treat that person a lot better. You will feel like you could have been a better daughter or sister or friend or partner for that person. You will feel this intense emotion every time you close your eyes and you end up crying hysterically. You will pretend to be tough and have it all together when the fact is you are broken as hell. You will lock yourself in your room just so you can cry your heart out without having someone sees it.

But you will also feel

grateful because of the lesson you have learned from this bitter experience. happy because you are surrounded by people who are loyal, who are there not only during your high but also your low, humbled because this lesson has taught you to appreciate your loved ones and enjoy little things in life. it is okay to cry your heart out, it is okay to grieve because heart that has been broke is the heart that has loved. it is okay to have some time off for yourself, you need it, especially in times like these. it is okay because life moves on and you know you cannot dwell in the past for so long. peaceful because at some point you will begin to come to terms with the loss and you will begin to accept thing as is and stop being so hard on yourself. You will learn how to forgive yourself and move on.


It has been a year already since I lost my first love, my papa. You know I miss you every single day, old man.


Living in Uncertainty: Refugees in Indonesia

Why is it important talking about refugee issue?

According to UNHCR, there are approximately 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. The rise of conflicts and war in countries such as Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan have driven huge number of people to flee from their area/ home country and force them to seek protection across international borders. This is the refugee crisis.

Refugee crisis needs to be addressed with participation of many stakeholders. We cannot expect solely on the government or UNHCR to address this issue. Before we look further into this issue, we should know about the term refugee which often mistaken to have the same definition as migrants. Refugees are people fleeing their home country due to persecution or conflict whereas migrants are those who choose to move not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons (unhcr.com). War and fear of persecution are the two main reasons these refugees flee from their area or country. They are often subjected to target killing or death threats and most of them have lost their family members due to this.

The journey they took from their country to the transit country was not easy either. They had to sell everything they have so that they can have people smuggled them to the transit country.

What’s the Refugee situation now in Indonesia?

According to UNHCR there are approximately 14.000 refugee and asylum seekers in Indonesia. Indonesia is not a destination country but merely as a transit country. Indonesia itself is not a signatory to the UN convention on Refugee, therefore, we are not responsible to meet the need of the refugees stuck in Indonesia. However, President Joko Widodo signed the Presidential Decree No. 125/2016 on the Treatment of Refugees from Overseas. The decree has made a significant influence on the domestic politics as first, the term refugee is now used by all the government agency as “a foreigner who resides within the territory of the Republic of Indonesia due to a well-founded fear of persecution”. Before that, the authority called anyone who entered Indonesia’s border without a permit as “illegal immigrants”. Second, the decree sets a number of minimum standards for refugee shelters such as health care, provision of clean water, drink, clothing, food. It also states on the decree that  refugees can be moved from one shelter to another for family unification. Third, the decree sets a standardized practice of “non-refoulement” which means that Indonesia is not allowed to send these people back to the country where they fled from. Repatriation will only be exercised if the refugee concerned agrees.

Indonesia has not yet ratified the convention on refugee so UNHCR has the mandate to provide assistance to the persons of concern. UNHCR itself has limited budget, hence it cannot financially support all the refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia. Refugees in Indonesia face some problems ranging from financial problem to health problem. One of the main problems they face is the protracted waiting times. One can even wait until 5 even 6 years to be resettled.  This particular problem has impacted the well-being of these refugees as it takes toll on their health and financial status. Some of the refugees rent a house or apartment and some live in a detention center. They rely upon their families back home or the ones who have been resettled in the third country.  To rent a house in Indonesia is definitely not cheap. I was fortunate enough to have spent 4 months living in Cisarua, West Java with the refugee community there. I have asked them how much they pay for the rent of the house per month. It ranges from 1.5-3 million rupiah. If you do the math, and suppose they are going to stay here for 4 years and the cost for the rent per year is 24 million rupiah, so it is 96 million rupiah in total. It is definitely not a small money at all. Not to mention their daily needs, etc.

All the thing happening does really impact upon their well-being and some of them have even suffered from health decline due to this particular issue.

What do they usually do every day?

I cannot speak for the other refugees in other part of Indonesia as I have only lived and observed the way of living of refugee community in Cisarua, West Java. Most of the refugees do not have many things inside their house. Only carpets and very few electronics, kitchenware. They do not have much to do as they confessed to me about their troubling situation living in Indonesia. They are bored because they spend most of their days sitting or sleeping at home (p.s: they are not allowed to work here). One of the families that I have interviewed told me that it is definitely not easy to wake up every day just to sit and play with phones and there is very few things to do, and the situation they’re going through affects a lot on their health as they tend to get stressed thinking about their problem and all and it definitely takes toll on them.

How does it affect the children?

Children in particular are vulnerable, let alone refugee children who have been exposed to such dreadful experience and events in their early life. Some of them have to endure a great pain of losing family members to conflict or terrorism. These experiences are feared to worsen their current situation. Not to mention that they do not have access to education, or to have very limited access to education. A few of the refugee children have entered local school but many of them are reluctant to do so as they have to be fluent in Bahasa and any other administrative issue which they concern about. All the situation that these refugee children have to face is feared to have negative effects on their psychosocial development. Erik Erikson classified pyschosocial development into 8 stages in which divided per age and each stage has its own developmental task in which one has to accomplished. A developmental task is a task that arises at or about a certain period in life, unsuccessful achievement of which leads to inability to perform tasks associated with the next period or stage in life (http://www.wvdhhr.org). 

These refugee children are exposed to traumatic experiences and now face difficult situation as they temporarily live in Indonesia and these conditions could affect the effort to achieving their developmental task. Suppose 16 years old children who, according to Erikson, are on the stage identity vs identity confusion. If they cannot find and get the resources needed to help them in achieving their current developmental task which is to find their identity, what their dream is, how to achieve their dream, and so on, they will face identity confusion in where they do not know where they’re going next, and what are their dreams, and how to achieve them, and they will switch goals once in a while because they are not so sure yet.

What can you say from the Children you’ve interviewed?

I can say that they are all strong, resilient children. Despite their past and current situation, they remain positive, which is so amazing, given the fact that they have lost their family member, they received death threats and everything. But surprisingly, they still remain to have dreams. They know exactly what they wanna do in the future and what should they do to achieve their dreams. In fact they are working towards it now. One of the children that I interviewed told me that she wants to become a police woman. She’s inspired by the movie she saw back in Afghanistan. She said that she wanted to find the terrorists so that she can save people in Afghanistan. It is such a noble dream, isn’t it? One of them told me that after all that she has gone and is currently going through, she wants to help refugees after she is resettled in the third country. She said she knows how it feels like being a refugee so she wants to help. Aren’t they amazing?

From my research about refugee children, I have found several findings:

1) Media plays a great part 

Most of them found the idea of what they wanna do and what they wanna become in the future from the Media. We can say that Media is the first to help them initiate the idea of their future. One of the children is inspired to become a leader after reading a biography about Mahatma Gandhi.

2) Teachers ROCK!

Yeah teachers rock!! They  inspire these children with their hard work. They are volunteers in this learning center which means they are not being paid for what they do. And that inspires these children. Even when they’re not being paid, they work tirelessly and give the best they for the children. These teachers also constantly give them motivational speech and always remind them not to lose hope and always stay positive. So, now wonder these children are so positive!

3) Community and Family Play Great Role All Together

People are resilient because they are supported by resources that enable them to function well. These children are not only being supported by their family but also by the community, in this case, is this learning center. Learning center and family have to work hand in hand in providing supports needed for these children. Parents can’t just expect teachers to work and help their kids if they don’t help their kids at home. Suppose at school they are being taught to be discipline and positive but when they are at home their parents yell at them and just discourage them, so they will start to think less of themselves and start questioning. This is why community and family need to work side by side in terms of giving these children support needed for their development.

I have written about the refugee learning center in Cisarua and you can read it here.

Cheers x



she is different


she is a woman not a girl you meet at a crossroad
she is more than a face to see
or a voice to calm your stormy night
you’ll long to hear her voice
cos it is a lullaby to you
and you’ll find her in your dream
but you think it’s a nightmare

she is more than a body to touch
you’ll burn your hand seconds you grab her waist
she is more than lips to kiss
you’ll be poisoned seconds your lips touch hers

she is more than one-night things
cos someone like her is not made
to last just one night
she is more than a hand to hold
cos the warmth of her hand won’t
warm your coldest heart
she grows thorns at the back of her hands
you will bleed trying to hold her

she is a woman of worth
she is made to be a home you miss
not a hostel you stay
she is made to be the water you need
not a whiskey you seek
she is made to be your sweetest regret and painful truth
cos tomorrow you will wake up
thinking of the chance you lost
to have someone
whose love as vast as the ocean
and you will long for her
every time you lay your eyes upon other’s
and there you’ll realize
that she is not like any other


//not one of your girls—ecp

Frida Kahlo Inspired Look






So a week ago I watched youtube and stumbled upon a video on how to recreate Frida Kahlo’s look. For those of you who don’t know, Frida Kahlo was a famous Mexican artist. She’s known for her self-portraits, passion, and eccentric look. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form (fridakahlo.org). What made her special was her ability to channel the emotion and pain and tell people about her experience into paintings. Life experience is her common theme.




I admire her strength and perseverance as she kept on doing the things she loved even though she was in a great pain. So this time, I want to recreate her look. It was far from perfect, though, as I noticed there are few of things missing but anyway, you can steal her look and make it your own.











at dawn it was
mom woke me up
saw him there
lying peacefully
stayed still
i held his hand
no tears at all
closed my eyes
hoping he’d just
pass out for a moment

sat oustide the ER
the doctor came up to me
he’s gone,she said
the world within me
crumbled down
no strength to walk
let alone to see his face

i didnt wanna go inside
too unbearable i thought
so i sat outside alone
ended up hurting myself
go ask the hospital walls
of how i got these bruises
i just wanted to wake up
from this nightmare

there they came
best friends at all times
sisters i never knew i needed

no flashback
no regrets
lies i kept telling to myself
to ease the pain
feel the regret
filling up my chest
painful it was
no words came out
of my mouth
did he know how much
i love him
did he know how much
i care

it’s all real
i saw him in there
in a coffin.
i saw him lying there
looked so peaceful
i saw him there
in a suit
i wish he would wear
on my wedding day.

still i hope
when i wake up
it all will be
a dream.

when a daughter lost her father.
It’s been a month already, Pa. I miss you like crazy

R i s e


you tell me to quiet down cause
my opinions make me less beautiful
but i was not made with a fire in my belly
so i could be put out
i was not made with a lightness on my tongue
so i could be easy to swallow
i was made heavy half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and
not easy for the mind to follow

― Rupi Kaur..


On Losing Someone You Love The Most


June 25, 2017

I lost someone who I dearly love–my dad. As I write this post, I still am trying to recover from the loss. It has been such a rough time for me to accept the truth that my dad, whom I spent my 21 years with, has gone. It still feels like a dream, so surreal. Sometimes I find myself asking the same question over and over again…

Has he really gone?

Everything happens so fast that I could not seem to digest everything that is going on at the moment. Losing someone has always been so tough for me. I have lost my grandparents when I was a kid, and my aunt and Neni (grand ma’s sister). I had a hard time dealing with the loss. Losing the loved ones have always been my worst nightmare and a week ago, I had to experience that. Losing a parent is extremely, unbearably, utterly painful. I could not find words to describe what I’m feeling but the pain I had to endure was just too much. But thank God I have friends and family who are there to open their arms, hug me and console me, support me and give me words of encouragement. I have no idea what I would do without them.

Papa always taught me to not be selfish, to share what I have with my sister, to care and respect one another, to always be kind and generous. Papa once told me that he got offered a high position job but he refused, and when I asked why, his answer astonished me. He simply said that

I am happy with I have now. If I accepted that offer, I would have to spend less time with you all. I would have missed the chances to drop my daughters off at school, have dinner together, going out, and do things together as a family. Those are just little things but those are what I appreciate the most.
You can always earn money, everything will be sufficient for us, but only time cannot be bought. It is enough for me. I can still drop you off to school, get home early for dinner.”

Papa had long been sick. He had suffered for a long time and it was painful to see him in so much pain. But now he is in a much better place where he is in peace, and doesn’t have to feel the pain anymore.

Pa, it is hard to move on with my life without you around. We fought, argued and disagreed a lot but at the end of the day, you would always be a father who’s so forgiven. I am sorry for the wrong I have done to you, and hope you know that I have forgiven you too. I know for a fact that you don’t want me to live in regrets but I wish I were there to tell you how much I love you, Pa. I hope you knew that I love you and I care about you even though I rarely said it to you.

I will always remember when you drop me off at school and sat there with me till the bell rang because you didn’t want me to be alone
I will always remember the times when you jokingly told me to cut your ears cos I asked for too much and I ended up crying and you and mom laughed so hard
I will always remember that time when you first heard me sing and you told me that I sing pretty well
I will always remember that time when we had tickle war. You knew I was so ticklish, you could win so easily.


The pain is unbearable and I still don’t know how and when I’ll come to terms with the loss. Your absence is just painful. But I know for a fact this is just temporary separation for one day I will see you again. I know you are happy up there where you no longer worry about the future, and pain no longer kills. I know you are singing over me.

Until I see you again, Pa

I miss you so much

To the lot of you who are lucky enough to still have both parents with you. You hold one gift some of us no longer have, and I hope you realize that we are not promised tomorrow so don’t take this life for granted, don’t take your parents’ love and care for granted for one day it will be taken away from you. Say I love You when you really do, that’s what your parents want to hear. My dad didn’t get to hear that coming from me for the very last time, and I hope you don’t make the same mistake that I did. Live fully.

A Woman.



I was really inspired by Farah G who wrote a poem about woman empowerment that I decided to write a poem with similar taste or theme. I wrote this poem as a reminder to all women that we are equal and we deserve to be treated well.