“How can a mother explain to her two young children that their father will never come home again?”
So said Helda Aprilia, 31, the wife of Ibnu Hantoro, a 33-year-old doctor who was among the 189 people on board Lion Air flight JT610 that crashed into the Java Sea on Monday morning. Their children are 4-year-old Farisa and 1-year-old Fatih
"I don't know what to tell them when they ask, because they will certainly ask about their father. What they do know is that their father is working," Helda, who is also a doctor, said as quoted by kompas.com.
Ibnu was on the flight from Jakarta to Pangkalpinang in Bangka Belitung Islands after visiting his family in Depok, West Java. He was on his way to report for duty as a specialist at Bangka Tengah General Hospital (RSUD) in a regency neighboring Pangkalpinang. But the flight, which carried 181 passengers, two pilots and six crew members, never made it to its destination.
Sitting inside her house in Depok, Helda, who works at the Pasar Rebo Regional Hospital in East Jakarta, told reporters on Monday that Ibnu was very caring and loving towards his family, especially Farisa and Fatih.
"He was very attentive towards his children and he loved them. He often video called them when he was in Pangkalpinang," Helda said as quoted by kompas.com.
Every time her husband had to fly back to work, their eldest daughter, Farisa, always waited for him to return. When Ibnu came home, Farisa would wait by the door to greet him and gave him a hug, Helda said.
Farisa has no idea that Ibnu is one of the victims on the downed Lion Air flight and the next hardest thing for Helda to do is to explain her husband' whereabouts to her children.
"Oh God, [Ibnu] had planned that the four of us would go on a vacation in December," Helda said.
Flight JT610 was scheduled to land at Depati Amir Airport at 7:10 a.m. on Monday, but air traffic control at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, lost contact with it shortly after take-off at 6:20 a.m.
The plane crashed 7 nautical miles off the coast of Tanjung Bungin in Karawang, West Java.