My Father & I

Dad 327 January 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the death my father.

I found myself counting down the days, as the 27th approached. 20 years felt significant. I was going to write a blog on the day sharing some reflections on my relationship with him. But when the day finally came, I found that whilst I do experience writing as deeply cathartic and healing, on this occasion it was potentially going to be a way for me to escape from the emotions that were coming up. And so, writing about it faded into the background.

I was having lunch with a dear friend last week, our conversation soon led to us talking about our parents. I mentioned the 20th anniversary. I told my friend that what really struck me was how much I have changed over the past 20 years, and that the 26-year-old that I was when my father died is a distant memory. If I had changed so much over the years, then my father would have certainly done the same, had he still been alive.

It is impossible for me to accurately imagine what my father would be like had he still been here, or what the nature of our relationship would be like. It often feels like he is frozen in time, whenever I think about him. And it feels unfair to both of us to apply the eyes of yesterday to our relationship of today; albeit a non-physical relationship!

As the past 20 years have unfolded, I have come to see my father through the lenses of three chapters – childhood, adolescence and adulthood. More

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The Power of Storytelling

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do ” – Brené Brown

Early next month I take to stage with a fellow storyteller to share stories about my journey with my mother. My solo piece is called ‘Killing My Mother’!

When I think of the phrase ‘killing my mother’ there are three stories that come to mind. The first story features the statement – ‘I never killed my mother, so you cannot kill me’. This was something my mother often said, as she would beat me in my teens whenever I misbehaved. The second features – ‘You have killed me!’ This was the first thing that my mother screamed when in my late 20s I told her that I was gay. The third features – ‘You made your mother miserable and that misery killed her’. This was what my mother’s pastor told me when I returned to Nigeria in my 40s for my mother’s funeral.

Father and Mother

I recently sat down with my fellow storytelling collaborator (Paul Woodward) to discuss our upcoming performance, our inspiration and intentions….. here is our conversation…..

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