Sunday, April 19, 2009
To all those who have emailed me in the past few days, I apologize for not being able to give a personal response. I'll be posting here on a regular basis updating everyone on the happenings here in Cambodia.
Hourt's funeral services finished yesterday at noon. I arrived at 1330hrs. While I was unable to be here for any of the ceremonies, I was able to meet with Aki Ra, and Hourts family and convey all of our deepest sympathies and the depths of our sorrow.
As for the circumstances of her death, I am not going to go there. It is enough that she is gone, and our thoughts should be on her accomplishments and successes.
The children are doing alright although they don't understand that she is gone. Aki Ra is coping well. He has a lot of support, family and friends with him. I actually think they are coping better than we are. They are together and have been grieving together. We have to do it by ourselves, alone with our memories of this wonderful woman who accomplished so much in such a short time.
Her burial place is just outside Siem Reap in a lovely Pagoda surrounded by the countryside she loved so much. Her stupa (burial mound) is covered in flowers and there are dozens of incense sticks around her resting place. I visited her yesterday with Aki Ra and I will post a photo of her stupa later in the week.
The work goes on at the Museum and at CSHD. The children who had families went home a week ago to celebrate Khmer New Years which ends today, Sunday. Most were notified by phone of Hourt's passing and the others will be told as they arrive back at the Museum. Aki Ra returned there yesterday as did Sanghour and his wife Sotling. They are expecting their first child, a girl, any day.
The Landmine Relief Fund and the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund have raised most of the money to pay for the funeral expenses and for Hourt's stupa. We wanted to do this to not merely help the family meet these expenses, but so that we can all share in this tribute to a very special woman.
The flags at the Museum are flying at half staff and will do so for the next month.