Abraham Akpan
3 min readNov 4, 2020


Four weeks ago, my family welcomed a bouncing baby girl.

In my opinion, I feel people underestimate the feeling you get when you see a new life being birth, this is because words are not even enough to describe the feeling.

As this little bundle of joy slipped into the world and gave a gigantic cry- I knew my mumu button was set and my heart would never remain the same again- it was about to burst out of it’s seams.

I was right there, at the foot of the bed when this melanin queen gave that mighty cry and in less than 2 minutes she was smacking her lips looking for food 😂😂.

I knew those small gorgeous eyes held promises for the future, there and then I vowed to give my all to make those dream come through- no matter the cost.

But sadly that would not be happening.

It has been seven days since I got the call that broke my heart.

" Bella is dead"

And in that moment my heart shattered in 10,000 pieces.

Yes her name was Bella (Beauty), Erioluwa (Gods Testimony) Nneneya (her mother's mum).

I named her Erioluwa, just to will her to stay. She was Gods testimony and His testimony never fades.

I had lost my mum less than a year ago, Bella was that glimpse of fresh sunshine in the horizon.

She was (can't believe I am using past tense) our little fighter and like a butterfly she fought against the wind.

Right now, I wish I could hold her ever so tightly tightly and not let go. Hold those feeble hands and not let go.

Just to will her back to life!

The past seven days has gone in a blur and notwithstanding, I have attended and sat through countless number of meetings, done a number of pitches and written countless documents during this period.

You might think that is the definition of strength or say "You are very strong" but no I am not strong, I am only human….dealing with the pain of grief.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no stranger to the loss of love ones, but each hits you a different way.

Many months back, Chrissy Teigen chronicled her loss for the world to see but she mostly got backlash from people who didn't understand why she did it.

Trust me loss is hard and it hits you the wrong way- no two experience is ever the same.

I decided to write this piece just because this is how I preserve memories- writing is my therapy. I am writing through my pains so that someone else will know that they are not alone as they go through this journey one day.

This is my attempt to preserve the memories of those beautiful smiles, your cry as you wailed for food and attention and every little thing in between.

I rest in the knowledge that out little butterfly is nestled in the bosom of heaven and with pouty lips eating all the manna’s in heaven.

Goodbye my beautiful butterfly, flap your beautiful wings because you won the fight.

Thank you to everyone who borrowed us their light during these dark moments.

And to my friend who just listened to me on phone as I wailed for 15 minutes (trust me there are just 4 people in the world who have seen me cry in my adult life)....Thank you.

I also struggled to share this with the world because:
1. I am a very private person especially when it comes to my family.

2. This journey is private and was too painful to share.

But I chose to share it, so that perhaps someone might read this and it gives them comfort in their dark night. And perhaps understand my silence.

I am borrowing you my light too.

Flap your wings my butterfly.

Till we meet.

Abraham Akpan

Human Capital Development|Innovation|Programmes| Mandela Washington Fellow