Popular Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, has recounted how she was recently embarrassed in a Catholic Church during parents’ funeral.
Pouring out her heart in a piece titled ‘Dreaming as a single family’ published in the latest edition of the L’osservatore Romano weekly bulletin, Adichie alleged that the church did not treat her family with compassion, as they should.
She wrote, “My family’s experiences during my parents’ funerals served to reaffirm, if not renew, my reservations about the Nigerian church.
“So much could have been handled with compassion for the grieving but was not. So many opportunities to show dignity were left unused.
“Our communication with the local church was more of an exercise in priestly power than anything else; we begged and negotiated for a suitable funeral date, with an exaggerated but insincere deference shown to the priest lest he change his mind and not agree to the funeral.
“At the Thanksgiving Mass — a strange concept, as giving thanks was the last thing I felt like doing a day after the funeral — my siblings and I were seated in the front pews, all wearing purple, my mother’s favorite color, all still in shocked disbelief to have buried her so soon after my father.
“I was immersed in sadness and did not realize right away when the parish priest began to criticise me about a press interview I had given a few months before.”
She went on to express her shock at the priest for criticising her at such a sad time in her life.
She continued, “After the interview, there was both criticism and support of my views, as one would expect, but I had not given that interview any thought in months.
“And so I was shocked by the parish priest standing at the altar and issuing a rejoinder, during my mother’s funeral, in terms so petty and so ill-timed as to trivialise the crushing enormity of her death.”
Kemi Filani News recalls that Chimamanda was left devastated after losing her mum, Grace Ifeoma Adichie, just a few months after losing her dad.
“How Does A Heart Break Twice?,” she captioned her Instagram post, which included two pictures of her and her mum, as well as a heartfelt letter.
Paying tribute to her mum, she described her as a “warm, loving, funny, kind, and quick-witted, beautiful mother. Unconditional supporter and cheerleader of her children, fun and funny, source of delicious sarcasm, style icon, so sharply observant she never missed a thing.”