I lost a friend yesterday. A good, inspiring friend.
Patricia Elida Yuliarty Tamalagi, or Elida, was born somewhere in Morowali regency, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, sometime in 1981.
I first met her in late 2006 at Kinoki, a small audio-visual interaction platform she established in 2005 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia just next to Yustina Neni’s restaurant Kedai Kebun Forum. At that time, Kinoki had moved to Kotabaru area because the original place was damaged after the May 2006 earthquake. They stayed there for a few years, before moving to some other places, and finally had to be dismissed.
I was a bit amazed by the way she looked at that time: just got up from bed, in sleeveless shirt, smoking, and a bottle of beer in her hand. It was still early in the afternoon. I thought she was a cold person—you know, the unfriendly kind. But after I got to know her better, it turned out that she was actually a warm person. I also found out later that, that was her style. She drank beer. She smoked. She loved sleeveless shirt.
And she hated to get up in the morning. When Maria Tri Sulistyani, or Ria, founder and director of Papermoon Puppet Theatre, got married in one warm noon in June 2007, Elida was there at the church as one of the choir singers, contributing her wonderful voice to the couple. And when not singing, she slept during the whole ceremony. She swore afterward, “Why do you have to get married in the morning?” We laughed.
And yes, Elida was also known as a very good singer, which was why Ria asked her to sing at her wedding. She loved slow rock music. Sometimes we went to the karaoke. She rarely gave the microphone up. She just loved to sing. And all that are what we will miss from her. Her dedication to film. Her voice and singing. Her inspiration. Her friendship. Her.
Elida fell unconscious on Friday, 9 September 2011, in Salatiga, near Semarang in Central Java. She was then rushed to Bethesda Hospital in Yogyakarta. I heard the news only on Saturday, when a friend posted on Facebook, asking us to pray for her. I didn’t realize how bad her condition was until I knew she was in a coma on Sunday. Then on the next day, some said she was already in critical condition.
I decided to pay her a visit, but I didn’t know where she was taken care of. When I asked some friends, many replied with, “What? What happened?” You didn’t hear? “No.” Elida is in a coma, I told them. “What? Where?” That’s what I’m asking you, damn it….
Tuesday morning, 13 September 2011, I was told that Elida was treated in the intensive care unit of Bethesda Hospital. I made an appointment with Ria to visit her together. As I waited for her, I was still sharing stories about Elida with Aisyah Hilal, a friend who is also Elida’s senior in French Literature Studies at Gadjah Mada University. Then I checked my Twitter account’s timeline. And I was struck by what I read.
Elida passed away that Tuesday at about 15.00. She never regained consciousness. Just as we were about to visit her. I called Ria, who was still on her way, to tell the news. After we finally met, we went to the hospital, and spent the rest of the day there.
Rest in peace, beloved friend. Never knew you would be gone too soon.
Your dedication to film is truly inspiring and greatly treasured. We will stay strong and keep your spirits in our hearts.
Ciao! See you on the other side!