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Jakarta Post

In life and death: Caretakers share their stories and struggles

  • Johanes Hutabarat


Jakarta   /   Thu, April 8 2021   /  01:00 am
Esterina Ribka, a palliative nurse. Beside taking care children with terminal illness, Ribka's presence is crucial in providing psychological support for the family of the patients. (JP/Courtesy of Rachel House)

Disclaimer: This story depicts experiences of suicidal thoughts and chronic illnesses that may be upsetting to some. Reader discretion is advised. There was no laugh on Christine Windarwati's face when she asked her husband, Stefanus Meilarius, whether they should take their own lives, together. "What if you suddenly die? [...] Never mind, let's just kill ourselves!", the 35-year-old recalls saying to her husband. He was recently diagnosed with a serious illness and she couldn’t bear the thought of him suddenly passing, leaving her to live alone. "Why?" Christine remembers Stefanus asking her. "In December, if nothing changes, let's just die together,” was the only retort she could give him. "It's up to you,” he replied. "Alright, me first? Or should I kill you first? What kind of suicide methods are w...