‘Notes on Grief’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I waited for this essay – Adichie’s response to the sudden death of her father during lockdown in 2020. When it finally arrived, I read it and I read it again and again and I wished I had read it sooner, that it had always existed, a hand held out when I needed it. (What could be closer to grief than wishing things to be other than they are?) 

Love and death are the places where family and resilience intersect most keenly. “Never has come to stay,” Adichie says. “Never feels so unfairly punitive. For the rest of my life, I will live with my hands outstretched for things that are no longer there.”

For anyone who has lost a beloved, there are sentences here that you can reach for when those around you are saying the wrong thing or, worse, silent. Here are the right things, beautifully, permanently, said.

Published by 4th Estate, 2021

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