This is unarguably one of the hardest blog posts I have ever had to write.
And it’s because it’s so difficult, that it’s taken me so long to write.
On Sunday, 11 September 2016, just before I dropped off to sleep, I thought about my friend, Dr Nkem Ezeilo.
And first thing on Monday, 12 September 2016, I learned that she had passed on the previous night. Some people say that my thinking about her at the time I did, was her (spirit) coming to say goodbye.
She was a good friend; the kind you could count on – in good times and in bad. Not an envious or insecure bone in her entire body. She was one of the few people I told before I started this blogazine, and I remember being a bit unsure because I didn’t know anyone else who was doing the exact same thing; Nkem was like, “But that’s why you should. You’re passionate about it, and nobody else you know is doing it. So, where is the problem?” It didn’t matter what it was – blogazine, radio gigs, books, whatever – she would be like, “My celebrity friend, you can do this!” I remember when I’d just returned to Nigeria, and she was one of the only people I could really talk to … even if she was all the way in London. Some of her WhatsApp messages kept me sane. She taught me how to use my mind and the power of positive thinking, to create. She was even looking forward to a certain event that I’d told her about … actually, she had sort of been nagging me to get it done. I really don’t understand how I’m even talking about her in the past tense. And I don’t believe that I won’t ever be able to call, Facebook or WhatsApp her ever again – especially to tell her, “Hey, you know that thing we talked about me doing? I’ve accomplished it!”
I know in my head, that someday, the tears will stop and the ball of pain in my heart will go away.
That one day, I’ll be able to look at her photos, without feeling bereft and robbed.
That there will come a time when I won’t randomly break down, nine times out of 10, when I remember her.
I know I should be happy that you are at peace. And grateful that you feel no more pain. So, I’m trying to focus on that.
Thank you for being my friend, Nkem.
Thank you for everything.