Eva Pangestuís life was remembered at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Sunnybank, on December 4. Her sister Stefanilia Pangestu and husband Ben Baker read the eulogy.
EVA Pangestu was born in Madiun, Indonesia, 30 years ago.
In our family, we four sisters shared a close bond with Eva, the eldest sibling.
Since she was young, Eva was always very independent.
On her first day of kindergarten, Mum always said Eva didn’t want to be waited on in the classroom and instead told her to go home.
Another example of her independence was in kindergarten, when Eva participated in the Kartini Day Parade.
Before the parade, our mother brought her to the salon to get her make-up done but she refused profusely.
After she saw all her friends in school wore make-up, she finally relented and Mum personally did the make-up for her.
However, once the parade was finished, Eva asked our mother to bring her back to the salon to get her make-up done, just to be photographed.
That’s our Eva, once she knew what she wanted, she would do her utmost best to achieve her goals and never give up.
Eva was known to us and many as a good, kind, independent, reliable, firm and principled person.
We as her sisters always looked up to her as our role model, and we as a family, are very proud of her, for who she was and what she had accomplished.
She had fought the good fight against cancer without any complaints as she did not want us to worry for her.
Moreover, she had always held on strongly to her faith in God until her very last breath.
It is painful indeed to lose Eva at such a young age but at least now she is no longer suffering in pain and we are sure she is now happy and smiling while watching over us from heaven, in the company of God along with all the angels and saints.
May our beautiful memories of Eva be told on to her two beautiful children as they grow up.
Thank you everyone, all the families and friends for all your support and prayers, standing by Eva throughout these years and through this difficult season of our lives.
And from Eva’s husband Ben …
In 2004 Eva planned on leaving Indonesia to go to Melbourne but then she heard about how cold it is there and moved to the Gold Coast instead.
She studied IT (information technology) at Griffith University and then completed her Masters as well. She was very bright and hard-working.
During her time on the Gold Coast she helped to start the Indonesian Catholic Family group there.
Once she finished her study she applied for a job in Brisbane and got the first job she applied for.
In Brisbane she became the youth co-ordinator for the Indonesian Catholic Family, a job that she did for two years, free of charge and was completely dedicated to her work.
She regularly attended Charismatic prayer groups and had a love for serving others.
In 2009 we met and I knew very quickly that she was a wonderful woman.
A year after we met we got engaged and another year later we were married. In the three years and five months that we were married God blessed us with two beautiful daughters, Isabella and Claramaria.
Eva loved being a mother and she was extremely patient and generous with her time.
She loved her family and would do anything for them.
As I told Eva many times before, I will always love her.
Eva was an amazing woman and I am honoured to have been her husband.
It was my honour to be there with her in the good times and the tough times.
Very few people could have endured as much as she did, and she did it all with complete faith and trust in God and still managed to think of others at the same time.
On her last days she was still able to share a few laughs with us.
She always put others first, saw the best in others and was extremely generous.
I know I am a much better man for knowing her.
Thank you Eva for being the most wonderful, caring mother and wife.
I know you inspired many people through your strength and I will forever honour you and tell our beautiful daughters, how you loved them so much and what an amazing woman you were.
I miss you and love you always.
I know you are with God now and one day we will meet again.
Eva was so strong and so humble.
Not many people know that before she had conceived either of our kids she prayed that she would take any sicknesses that were meant for our children.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she prayed that humble prayer and that the cancer that she had was usually only ever found in girls before the age of puberty and she was diagnosed during both of her pregnancies.
She also realised she had cancer only nine weeks into her pregnancy with Claramaria but she didn’t tell anyone for the sake of keeping our daughter alive.
I think it’s fitting that I finish with some words from one of Eva’s favourite songs because they describe the way she lived.
“Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory
Lord I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You as a pleasing sacrifice
Lord I offer You my life.”
Many times people have asked me, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, and for a long time, I didn’t know how to answer that question.
But now I have a little bit of insight.
While bad things were happening to Eva, she was able to inspire a lot of people and she was able to show the unconditional and sacrificial love of Jesus to many people.
In the end a great thing happened to her because now she is in a place that Jesus described as paradise, Heaven.
When bad things happen to us, it’s a chance for us to draw closer to God and to let Him mould our character.
God will do these things for my family and for you, if we just invite Him into the situation and He will help us every step of the way because He is good, always faithful and He loves us.
Things will get better.