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Grieving A Past Version Of Myself Has Been Essential For My Liberation

To celebrate Jendella Benson's captivating debut novel, Hope & Glory, she has selected four writers to explore the core themes that run through her book. The next personal essay is from the wonderful Ezimma Chigbo, who shares her journey of grieving her past life and parts of herself.

In January I had a near death experience which meant my first few weeks of 2022 were spent in hospital. It was from my hospital bed in the ICU that I read Jendella’s debut novel, Hope & Glory, so when she approached me to contribute to this series it felt serendipitous, like a full circle moment.

My proof for Hope & Glory had come through the post months before I finally got round to reading it. Being offered access to the book before it was released felt affirming to me as a writer, but I was most excited because I understood the significance attached to a project of this magnitude. 

Jendella’s personal achievement brought me joy, but something about holding the book in my hand felt like a win for Black women and for the culture too. I could not foresee then, the personal significance this book would have on my journey in understanding grief.