A short but powerful collage of emotions mixed up in the death of her father.

This was a beautifully touching portrait of Chimamanda's Nigerian father, painted with strokes of respect, happiness, and pain. After her father died, she did not want to move on from the grief lest its cause became too real. Everything got more complicated by the pandemic and the Nigerian government's fumbling. A proper ceremony kept getting delayed while family and friends pressed the importance of following all the traditional rituals. Through it all, Chimamanda tenderly tells us of her other family members, and we start to appreciate the way her father brought them all together. I miss her father too now.

Do I care as strongly about my own father? Will I be similarly paralyzed in life when he eventually passes?

A friend sends me a line from my novel: "Grief was the celebration of love, those who could feel real grief were lucky to have loved." How odd to find it so exquisitely painful to read my own words.

I love this quote, because I myself have also always aspired to remember this perspective whenever I felt hurt. It being painful instead speaks to the irrationally strong intensity of emotional grief.

My father's past is familiar to me because of the stories told and retold, and yet I always intended to document them better, to record him speaking. I kept planning to, thinking we had time. "We will do it next time, Daddy," and he would say, "Okay. Next time." There is a sensation that is frightening, of a receding, of an ancestry slipping away, but at least I am left with enough for myth, if not memory.