Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Waiver, The Childless Community, and Death

1. The Waiver.

A few months ago I wrote about signing a waiver in Indo, but after talking to some lawyers, I decided to postpone it. Considering the fact that the laws can change and everything can be so chaotic in Indo, I didn't like the idea of the possibility of having to pay twice to sign a waiver in case the law changes in the future and I have to sign a new waiver. So that has to be on hold, but I heard that in my aunt's case, it was possible for her to sign a waiver in her new country of residence, got it translated to Indonesian, and then have it sent to Indonesia. So that's also another option, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

2. Voicing The Childless Community.

Prior to our trip, I had a chance to meet up the locals here along with some other expats to voice our needs so that they knew what more they could do to help new expats integrate better into society.

At one stage of the discussion, I chose a group that talked about spare time activities (another group was about daycare/schooling, something I couldn't participate in) and I had my opportunity to voice the childless community in general. I told them that as a childless person, it was hard for me to find friends and events that I could join that would enable me to find new friends. I didn't add the part that I was an introvert, but it seemed that they got the gist.

I was a bit worried of how the other people in the group would take my POV, but I was glad that they were positive about it. In fact, as I was discussing my problems of integrating into society and making new friends as a childless person, the event leader came by and she actually said, "Oh yes, a mother once told me that it was easier for mothers to meet up other mothers and arrange play dates and stuff like that because of their children. Plus there are many other social activities/events directed for those who have kids. This is a good discussion, keep talking about it!"

I was nicely surprised to hear that a mother actually said that to her. It was nice to feel heard, even though I was seriously anxious to share my stance as a minority. I think my voice trembled in the beginning, but it got steadier afterwards.

Growing up as a minority in my home country didn't really help me learn to open up about my needs or demand anything from the government. Instead, fearing for the security of my family and my fellow minority group made me learn how to lay low and not rock the boat as best as I could, even if I was right. God knows what has happened to a minority like us in the past who was targeted by some crooked individuals.

Infertility has taught me to be more open and to express my needs in a preferably effective way. First to my close friends, then to other people in general via FB, then to my family to let them know clearly what kind of support I needed. Practise makes perfect, eh? What really helped me to open up during that local event was also the knowledge that there was a group of women out there who got me and would be my soft landing in case the real world failed me. They're the wind beneath my wings. A working support group really helps one flourish in ways that one can't do on one's own.

3. Death.

Went to visit FIL's grave the other day because the headstone had just been delivered a few days ago. Death can be a pretty expensive affair. I told hubby that if I died first, I didn't want anything fancy and that I wanted it to be as practical and cheap as could be (I didn't want him to feel burdened to do anything fancy after my death). He shushed me, but at least I had gotten my point across juuuuusst in case.

Then I said, "Yeah, I know you don't like listening to this kind of talk, so let's just die together, OK?"

He agreed to that. :-D

One funny realization when I started thinking of the topic of death: if I'm old and alone and I die alone somewhere and other people find my body only much later, I've made peace with that possibility. I don't find it sad anymore even if I have no grave and nobody remembers me after I'm gone. It's kinda nice and freeing to feel this way. :-)


  1. Interesting post, Amel. I'm still smiling at your last paragraph. I'm at peace with that too, and agree that it is freeing that way.

    Death is expensive, but old age and dying are more so. Sigh. I may post on this.

    And good for you for voicing your needs, and speaking up for the childless community in your region. I'm glad you feel you can do this now.

    1. Ah yeah, you're right about old age and dying. It's a whole new topic with lots of different possibilities. The only possible option is try to save as much money as possible for those kinds of possibility, even though there's no guarantee because nobody knows what the future holds and the money may be lost even before old age comes. I still cringe a little about the possibility of becoming a totally different person due to some ailments (mostly mental ailments like dementia or Alzheimer's) and then being bedridden without anyone to fight for my rights (esp. if I become a belligerent patient that the nurses dislike/avoid like plague), but I've gradually (very very slowly) inched closer to that point of peace. May those people have mercy on me if I ever experience something like that.

      I try to anticipate for the future, but I've also learnt to be flexible. I'd love to hear your take on old age and dying.

      Oh yeah, forgot to add that during the event I also managed to share my POV on what I thought expats needed in general (not necessarily for me but for newcomers): a full-time Finnish course. I'm also glad I went to the event and that I managed to open up. :-) Not only that, I managed to get some new expat friends that way. :-)


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