Acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has made a heartfelt tribute on Facebook to her mother, who died on 1 March.
Adichie wrote about the pain of having her heart broken twice as her mother, Grace Adichie, died months after they had buried her father.
She remembers Grace as a “warm, loving, funny, kind, quick-witted beautiful mother” and style icon who offered unconditional support to her children.
“She made history as the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria,” she says.
Her death was unexpected and Grace had been working until a few days before she was suddenly taken ill, dying on the day of her late husband’s birthday.
“How does a heart break twice? You discover emotions you cannot name. There is an emotion more hollow than sorrow. There is an acceptance drenched in disbelief,” the prize-winning writer said.
“Language fails. Clichés come startlingly alive: the heart is truly heavy, it is no mere metaphor…
“To have loving parents, an entire life propped up by them, and in months to have it all end, so abruptly, with such unbearable finality.”
“This is how a heart breaks twice, this feeling of being utterly lost,” the writer ends her touching tribute.
Adichie is survived by her six children, nine grandchildren, in-laws and many relatives.