Darling Mum-Mum

Unbelievable. I feel utterly lost. O na-afu ka ose. That you are actually gone forever. I

assumed you would be here for much longer. I assumed the universe had given us our own fair share of pain. I was just teasing you that you can’t say you’re tired at 78 when Joe Biden is your age mate. We were planning your big 80th birthday party next year. Unbelievable.

I need you. I so desperately wish I could turn back time and hug you, kiss your neck as I always did, tease you, laugh with you, hail you “GC London! Asa Umunnachi! Odogwu Mmadu!”

How can I be writing a tribute again? How can I be writing a tribute to you?

I cannot bear to think of the future. The world is wrapped in gauze and I cannot see clearly. The seams of my life have been harshly, so harshly, undone.

You calmly told me during that false health scare in the US a few years ago: “I have lived a full and happy life.”

I remember telling you, “Mummy, keduzi udi okwu bu nke a?”

But now I cling desperately to those words. They are true but they do not make the pain less. You lived a full and happy life. Your husband adored you. Your children adored you. You found rewarding fulfillment in your life’s work as an administrator. You were a source of great joy, you were a wonderful mother, so fiercely protective, so utterly unconditional in your love, so full of wit and warmth. Thank you, Mum-Mum for everything. I will always be grateful to have had the great gift of calling you my mother. So much unfinished. So many more conversations to be had, stories to be told, gossip to trade. So much laughter waiting to be laughed. Now everything is too late.

I never ever imagined that you would leave us now, so suddenly, so soon after Daddy. You told us that Daddy would want us to find a way to cope. You were so brave, while dealing with your own immense grief. How will I cope? What will our lives look like now?

It is so strange, how you are the one I want to tell about all this. Who will I facetime in the evenings, to talk about nothing? Who will I ‘report’ your granddaughter to, only to have you completely support

her? Who will take one look at my face and know I’m having a bad day, who will tell me to go and rest, to eat, who will tell me not to worry, that the writing will come, who will always unconditionally cheer me on?

I love you so very much Mum-Mum. Thank you so much for everything you were to me. Thank you for everything you did for me. I don’t know how I will cope.

GB gi.