Death is no doubt a sad reality that everyone has to face. Despite the fact that no soul can escape death, it does nothing to soften the pain of losing a loved one.
Celebrated Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, lost her father on June 10, 2020. The author was no doubt devastated by the terrible news.
On July 4, 2020, Adichie took to her social media pages to share a touching note in remembrance of her father. The Purple Hibiscus author wrote on how she had always feared for the day her father would leave the world and their last moment shared together before it happened.
The writer explained how she spoke with her father on their weekly zoom call on June 9 only for him to pass on the next day. Adichie said that she loved her father so fiercely and that she feared for the day he would die.
She wrote: “Because I loved my father so much, so fiercely, so tenderly, I always at the back of my mind feared this day. But he was in good health. I thought we had time. I thought it wasn’t yet time. I have come undone. I have screamed, shouted, rolled on the floor, pounded things. I have shut down parts of myself.
“The children and I adore him,” my mother wrote in a tribute when he was made professor emeritus. We are broken. We are bereft, holding on to one another, planning a burial in these COVID-scarred times. I am stuck in the US, waiting. The Nigerian airports are closed. Everything is confusing, uncertain, bewildering.”
Adichie said that sleep has been her only respite since her father’s demise and that waking up fills her with the enormity and finality of her father’s passing.
Excerpts from her post reads: “We talked almost daily. I sent him my travel itineraries. He would text me just before I got on a stage: Ome ife ukwu! Nothing else mattered to me as much as the pride in his eyes.
I saw him last on March 5th in Abba. I had planned to be back in May. We planned to record his stories of my great grandmother.
Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn that your side muscles will ache painfully from days of crying. You learn how glib condolences can feel.
My father was Nigeria’s first professor of Statistics. He studied Mathematics at Ibadan and got his PhD in Statistics from Berkeley, returning to Nigeria shortly before the Biafran War. A titled Igbo man – Odelu Ora Abba – deeply committed to our hometown. A Roman Catholic with a humane and luminous faith. A gentle man and a gentleman.For those who knew him, these words recur: honest, calm, kind, strong, quiet, integrity.
I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe that I am writing about my father in the past tense. My heart is broken.”
This is so sad. Rest in peace to James Nwoye Adichie.