Sunday, January 17, 2021 2:46 pm
By Nehru Odeh
Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu, former beauty queen and wife of late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has taken to Facebook to share her last emotional moments with her father, Christian Chukwuma Ojukwu Onoh (fondly called C.C. Onoh).
She shared those moments while reliving a chance encounter with her late father’s mortician, Nze Nel Agu, ten years after he assisted him to prepare her dad for burial.
“When my father, H.E Christian Chukwuma Onoh died on that fateful morning of 5 May 2009, I was totally destabilized as I sat, holding onto him as he lay still. So Many thoughts, countless emotions raced through my mind ranging from shock, confusion, fear and grief and much more. In those hours, I felt closer and even more bonded to him, pouring out my heart to him though he could no longer hear nor respond to me, but the hardest part was when his body was to be taken away for preservation in preparation for the funeral.
“That sinking feeling that hits most bereaved at this material time; the panic of leaving one’s dearly departed in the hands of total strangers engulfed me. In that moment, I did one of those things which with hindsight, I wonder what came over me…I volunteered to be the morticians ‘assistant’. Though the mortician was initially horrified at that prospect, I wasn’t going to budge.
“And so, inside that room for that crucial procedure was just the mortician, my father and myself. I did what I could, handing over tools and so forth. It was a harrowing and gruelling experience, but a truly gratifying moment which brought with it some degree of closure. Overwhelmed at the time, I could not remember this man’s name.
“It’s been over 10 years, and a reunion of sorts at the weekend when a man resplendently attired in ‘Isi agu’, one of the royal cabinet members…came up to me at Igwe Agamevu’s Celebration. ‘Remember me?’, he asked smiling gently, ‘ You assisted me in preparing your late father…’ It was a bittersweet bolt. We sat together and reminisced about that fateful day . It was nice to be reunited under more pleasant circumstances.
“To Nze Nel Agu I say Thank You. Thank you for letting me (in spite of your initial alarm) be part of it all, as well as for the tender and respectful way that you handled my father’s body during that procedure. You may never fully understand what this meant to a grieving daughter.
“Life is precious. Let’s appreciate and make the most of it despite these trying times,” Bianca wrote.