The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

My Daddy was just here

Sometimes, it’s the inane nature of things that foretells what is about to happen. Yet it is the very inanity that lulls us into a false sense of security, the irony of it all hitting us only after the event. Hindsight is indeed 20-20 vision.

Usually, life is a series of mind-numbing activity. Stuff we could do in our sleep. Every now and again something breaks up the routine. Sometimes the break is welcome. Other times, it is an unwanted intruder.

This is one of those times. This break is so incongruous with the routine that precedes it, nothing I have known before quite prepares me. So that when I get that phone call, the one where my younger sister is crying frantically, breathing heavily and calling out my name repeatedly. I know it’s bad. Really, really bad.

I search for the rewind button. I want to live life in reverse. To turn back the clock. Go back to the morning when I wake up and it’s Saturday. A regular Saturday in the Ivara household. Football. Homework. Cleaning. Getting ready to go to my friend’s baby shower. Driving. Singing along to Heart FM.

But no matter how many times I replay it, I always end up at that moment where I get the phone call. The one where my younger sister is crying frantically, breathing heavily and calling out my name repeatedly and I know it’s bad. Really, really bad.

My breath catches. I ask her to repeat what she has just said. I hear her the first time but I convince myself that I could not have heard her right. She says it again. And again. And again.

“Daddy is dead.”

How can he be dead? He was just here. It’s been 10,080 minutes. One week since Daddy was here. In my home. Sitting in what my boys call ‘Granddad’s chair’. Now, she is telling me he is gone. How can that be? I can see him here. Pottering around. Repacking his and mum’s luggage. Drinking Moringa tea at the dining table. Roughhousing with the boys, telling them he was going back to ‘Naija’. Surely this is a joke. But I know it is not. I know the moment I answer the phone and hear my sister crying. I know that life, as I used to know it, is changed forever.

My hands start to shake. My breath comes in short bursts. My lungs are burning from the effort of taking in air. I start to cry. How can this be? It can’t be true.

It’s been three days since I got that phone call. I have repeated that phrase ‘Daddy is dead’ over and over again. I roll the words around in my mouth, whisper them, say them out loud, say them in my head. They still feel mismatched, like they don’t belong together in the same sentence.

It feels like something has been forcefully wrenched out of its place and I have been left with an open, gaping wound. There is this huge lump in my chest. Try as I might, I just cannot shift it. Unshed tears. It is hard to believe there are any left after all the ones I have cried.

I look around the house and think, he was just here. My Daddy was just here…


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13 thoughts on “My Daddy was just here

  1. njide egbuna on said:

    Nkem, sorry seems so inadequate, words are not enough, I am still in shock. All I know to do is to pray for you all. For the strength, comfort beyond human understanding to envelope you all at this very sad time. We continue to treasure every day, every minute, second with our loved ones. Cyber hug my sister.

  2. Nkem. This sure made me cry as well. What can I do?I mourn with you because it is so painful to lose a father, especially one who has been a true father. I also rejoice with you for his life and thank God that he preserved him not only to see all his children grow but to experience the joy of being a grandfather. I know that God will give you strength and comfort because this is our testimony, that we have a God who is faithful through the thick and through the thin. It is well.

  3. Nkem, I am speechless. My goodness. Words cannot heal this sort of wound. But GOD almighty will provide all the strength and balm you require. Take heart ooo. This life is indeed a stage. Nothing more.

  4. Ah Nkem. Pele. May the Balm of Gilead soothe you and yours through this in Jesus name. Much love xx

  5. Kennedy Emetulu on said:


    You have to take heart. Daddy has done his bit and is gone. The way he left is the will of God, not of man. Just know that He who loves Daddy more than you has decided to call him home. You have just gained another angel pleading your case and that of the rest of the family sitting with God. Sure, the tears will still continue to flow, because implied in your account is the fact that he was a lively man who loved his brood and who’d be dearly missed. But you have to be strong for yourself and others. You have to accept God’s will. You have to remember the good times you and the family had with him and do your bit to celebrate his life in memorials worthy of him. I say this, because I know that only a man worth immortalizing will give birth to a great one like you. Pick up the baton! Run that race! That is what he’d want!

    May the Lord grant you and the rest of the family the courage to bear the loss. May Papa’s soul rest in perfect peace.

  6. Condolences to you all Nkem. This doesn’t, shouldn’t make sense- and it doesn’t have to. The Lord is your strength and will see you all through it.

  7. Thank you for your kind and comforting words.

  8. CityDiva on said:

    My beloved Kemsi, I echo Kennedy’s lovely words ” I know that only a man worth immortalizing will give birth to a great one like you”. I am honored to have met your Dad. He has found rest in the Everlasting arms.
    Just keep trusting, Abba Father will do the rest !

  9. christine on said:

    Nkem, be comforted.

    Not the kind of news anyone would like to hear… not at all. Again, be comforted my sister. Great Grace and Peace to you and yours this period. Ndo xxx

  10. Kemsi, I know the choking pain is real and I am so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you all at this time.

  11. Nkem, ndo. Sometimes words are not enough. But you have mine and my prayers for you and your family. Dibe.

  12. Ewuuuuu nwanne m. I know I have already told you how I feel but this piece is powerful. Your daddy must have been a fantastic man and so he deserves your grief – and ours because we know you. Words are just words, I know. But take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and neither is he.

  13. Sincere condolences. That’s really tough. This post is a powerful tribute to your Daddy, and I’m sure he’s proud.

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