Chimamanda Adichie opens up on her family’s experience during her parents’ funeral in a Nigerian church

Nigeria Renowned author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, says her family’s experience during the funerals of her parents has reaffirmed her reservations about churches in Nigeria.

Chimamanda had lost her mum, Grace Ifeoma Adichie, on March 1, 2021, months after she lost her father and she was buried in May.

In an article titled ”Dreaming as a singe family” which was published in the latest edition of the L’osservatore Romano weekly bulletin, Ms. Adichie alleged that the church did not treat her family with compassion as they should during the funeral of both her parents.

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.”she wrote

Ms Adichie claimed a priest chose to critique her one of her articles during her mother’s thanksgiving service. In the article the priest made reference to, Adichie had written about the Nigerian church’s focus on money.

”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.

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.”she wrote

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