Chimamanda lost her mum, Grace Ifeoma Adichie, on March 1, 2021, months after she lost her father. She along with her five other siblings buried their mum 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.
My family’s experiences during my parents’ funerals served to reaffirm, if not renew, my reservations about the Nigerian church.
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 exaggerated but insincere deference shown to the priest lest he changes his mind and not agree to the funeral.” she wrote
Ms Adichie recounted how a priest chose to critique one of her articles during her mother’s thanksgiving service. In the article the priest referred 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 favourite colour, 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