Yesterday, I found out my Aunt had died. I struggled to keep my voice calm as i talked to my mum on the phone asking the normal questions. How? When?. Finally, the call ended and I descended into depression.
Now i am not close to my extended family but she was one of the few who i didn’t think was crazy. My extended family could make up the cast for a Madea/Nigerian movie and no, not in the fun-loving/harum scarum type of way.
I remember this particular aunt living with us when i was younger but my memories are blurred. A picture here, a flash there. I became fond of her was when i had an accident in 2012. It was during my service year and it was in a village. I got rushed to the city because of course my mum would not hear of me being treated in the community hospital. The next morning, I woke up and she was there. She took care of me, brought my meals.. everything. Now that i think back, i never asked what she was doing in Port-Harcourt. She didn’t live there. Why was she there?
Late last year, she came to Lagos for a vacation. She was always bubbly and full of life. We didn’t talk much but I liked her and that was enough.
Three weeks ago, She had a child. My mum kept asking me to call her and I kept saying i would. I never did.
Three days ago, i called my grandma to wish her a happy birthday. She was in the hospital with my aunt who had started bleeding after childbirth.
“Is Aunty Ndidi there?”
“Yes, but she is eating. Do you want to talk to her?”
“No, Don’t worry. I will call later to say hi”.
I knew i wouldn’t call back. I’m not the best “Caller” in the world. Yesterday, mum called.
“Aunty Ndidi is dead”.
I never cry when people die. My tears are limited to what i see on TV and read in books. The real world holds no tears for me.
There is a first time for everything. Yesterday was one of such times.
My tears have washed the world clean.