Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, at the weekend, held a reading event of her new book Notes on Grief in Lagos, where she read excerpts from the book and steered a discussion on her period of grief.
In the wake of her father’s death, Adichie had documented her thoughts on grief, which resulted in a poetic, amazing page-turner, laced with the motif of meditation, remembrance, hope, familial obligation and loss.
Drawing on personal encounter with the effects of losing both parents in within months, she used the event to offer profound thoughts on reassessing loss and adjusting strained relationships with friends, family and loved ones.
With guidance from her book on reframing story of loss, finding peace in it and even experiencing renewed growth and purpose in its wake, Adichie showed to audience that although grief could be a lifelong process, it does not have to be a lifelong struggle.
She expressed delight at the success of the event and the shared experiences from some of the participants.
“I felt a sense of community and I also felt heartened that people were talking about their own grief. I think that’s how we are as a country where we are often told to move on.
“So, you suffered grief and someone tells you ‘Ok, Sorry, but move on. It has happened. But you are still in pain. I think it was just nice to be in the space where people are talking about it,” she said.
She expressed the hope that the book would help people to make sense of one of life’s greatest inevitabilities.
“I would rather not be talking about grief, because I would rather have my parents here. But it has happened. I think there is a part of me that is always thinking about how to reach out to people and I think partly, because I am a storyteller.
“I am kind of looking for ways in which our human stories connect, which is why I wanted to publish this book. I really hoped it will help one person dealing with grief,” she added.
After the reading, question and answer (Q&A) sessions, there was the book signing, where scores of readers waited to meet the author.