Grieving Family Haunted By AirAsia Victim’s Final Birthday Wish

On December 28, fashion store owner The Meiji Thejakusuma boarded AirAsia Flight 8501 in her home city of Surabaya with her husband, mother, three children and future son-in-law.

As she bid her relatives goodbye at the airport, the Daily Mail reports that it is her last words prior to boarding the AirAsia plane that will continue to haunt Thejakusuma’s family.

Thejakusuma planned to celebrate her 45th birthday on a luxury cruise bound for Malaysia and Thailand. When her nephew asked her just before boarding the flight how she planned to spend her birthday, she smiled and replied that she would “spend time alone at sea.”

Forty minutes later, the AirAsia flight tragically crashed into the ocean. And on January 3, Thejakusuma’s 45th birthday, her body was recovered and returned to her family, according to MSN — her final words now eerily resound in the minds of her grieving family.

Thejakusuma’s nephew, Eric Edi Santo, revealed her last words as he spoke in her honor at the funeral parlor surrounded by over 100 family and friends, as reported by the Telegraph.

“We asked her how are you going to celebrate your birthday. She said jokingly: ‘I’ll spend time alone at sea.’ Maybe God was trying to be good to her, and didn’t want her to spend her birthday alone at sea, so he brought her back.”

Of the 162 passengers on board that fateful AirAsia flight, only 37 bodies have been recovered. The bodies of Thejakusuma and her 10-year-old daughter, Stevie, are among those 37.

Thejakusuma’s family hopes that the rest of their family, including her 48-year-old husband Jie Charly Gunawan, her 82-year-old mother, Joe Indri, and her other two children, Steven, 19, and Stephanie, 28, will also be found. Stephanie’s fiancé, Christanto Leoma Hutama, was also traveling with them.

MSN reports Santo revealing that they are holding on to their last hope of a survivor being found.

“We hope for a survivor… at least just one of them. I hope that one of them can come back alive. If not, we hope that all of their bodies at least will be here, we don’t want any missing bodies. They died so tragically, at least I want them to have a proper burial.”

Agus Panjaya, another nephew of Thejakusuma, remembers her as always being helpful to anyone in need. He revealed how his aunt would drive two hours to visit him on the weekends at his dorm while he was in school just so that he wouldn’t feel lonely.

“It was in my aunt’s character to just help people whenever she could, poor people, her own family, anyone. That’s why everyone feels a deep sense of loss.”

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