Even though she has good support from her friends and cousins that are now her siblings, Chigoziem Emereuwa will never forget the 17th of August 2001. That day, she lost all her nuclear family in a motor accident.
Chigoziem, together with her parents, siblings and an aunt was attending her mum’s sister’s wedding when their vehicle got hit by a truck. Everyone except her, died in the accident.
She tells Flourish Africa how it happened.
“I only remember being in the back seat, playing a travel game with my sister and then waking up in hospital. I don’t recall any form of PTSD as my paternal family made sure I wasn’t alone, I didn’t even get a chance to mourn properly. It seemed like the loss hit my aunts more than it did me so I had to be strong.”
However, my grades did go down and my mom was no longer there to push me. I felt no urge to work hard since I had learnt that you could lose everything in a second so, why bother? Every time I wake up, I remind myself that I am my parent’s legacy so I try to stay focused on my end game which is to be better than I was yesterday,” she said.
For Chigoziem, her happiest day was her Masters graduation. Having some of her friends and family members fly in from Nigeria made her feel loved.
Now, at 27-years old, Chigoziem is set to bag a PhD in Pure Mathematics, making her the youngest to graduate in her class.
“Take one day at a time, focus on the good and pray if you believe in God”. She advises women who may be finding it difficult to deal with loss.