Award winning Nigerian Novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, said she was “heart broken” as she was writing about her late father, Prof. James Nwoye Adichie, in the past tense.
Prof. James Adichie died on June 10 in Anambra after a brief illness.
Adichie took to her Instagram page @chimamanda_adichie to share a piece she published about her grief.
“I am writing about my father in the past tense and I can’t believe I’m writing about my father in the past tense.
“My heart is broken,” she said.
In a two page write-up she shared along with a video on her Instagram page, Adichie expressed her love for her father and how she communicated with him on a daily basis.
“We talked 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.
“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 good in 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.”
She narrated her final moment with her dad and how significant he was in her life.
“June 7, there was Daddy on our weekly family zoom call, talking and laughing.
“June 8, he felt unwell.
“Still, when we spoke, he was more concerned about my concussion (I’d fallen while playing with my daughter).
“June 9, we spoke briefly, my brother Okey with him.
“Ka chi fo,” he said his last words to me.
“June 10, he was gone.”
“Sleep is the only respite,” Adichie said.
“On waking, the enormity, the finality, strikes – I will never see my father again.
“Never again. I crash and go under.
“The urge to run and run, to hide from this.
“The shallow surface of my mind feels safest because to go deeper is to face unbearable pain.
“All the tomorrows without him, his wisdom, his grace.”
Prof. Adichie was Nigeria’s first professor of statistics.
He studied mathematics at Ibadan and got his PhD in statistics from Berkeley and returned to Nigeria shortly before the Biafran war.