Death and All His Friends

Death is a distant rumor to the young. ~Andrew A. Rooney

Introducing Pak Jumari, a clerk who has been working for UGM for more than 20 years. He's now counting down his pensioner time. Pak Jum doesn't have much work to fuss about (not like me :p ). He arrives at 7 o'clock, opens all the doors, switches on all the ACs, and does some mere cleanings. Occasionally during the day, he goes to the kitchen to do some dishes while chatting with one or two friends. Sometimes, TURT (Households and correspondence) will call him to do cleanings in other part of this big office. But most of the times, I find him lazying around or sleeping.

There's one thing Pak Jum frequently do in which I find I begin to develop a curiosity. Going to funeral. It is so often that one of his friends or relatives calls him (I handle all his calls now, like his own secretary) to inform that another friends or relatives of them died and are buried. He then will begin to give me a iffy explanations and lame details, and off he goes!

Sometimes, I wonder how many funerals can one attend during one's life? Well as I can recall during this 11 months of working here, Pak Jum had attended 10 funerals more or less. One funeral for one month. I remembered, it was probably in the mid of April, when Pak Jum attended 3 funerals in just two weeks. WOW!!! The deceased were his neighbors and it involved some ordinary mystical belief -a sort of competition between nearby cemeteries-.

Anyway, though I sometimes sceptically accept his reasoning for leaving the office -which might be an excuse for him to skip the day I suspect (but who can blame him -his work is totally mundane-)- I feel myself unable to forbid him to leave, or to just question his excuse -even if I want it, even if there is a solid ground to suspect him. In his age, no one can question a reasoning of one friend's death and funeral to take a day off.

Death, die, dying, dead, in Pak Jum age, are trite events and wordings. I think Pak Jum has accustomed to death and with every respect to him, Pak Jum might have lived it to the point where it resound nothing extraordinary. Is it had to be related to age? Well, though I have to admit that every one, each of us, lives our life with death floating in the air, aging makes one is prone to sickness, casualty, degradation, and therefore nearer to death.

Ah, this is quite a scary topics, but as someone says ( I forget who), you haven't lived until you think of death constantly :)

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