Maik NwosuNigeriaWriting2009

Novel excerpt:


“I want you to teach me how to die.”


  That was how it began. It was the first time that anyone would make such a request to me. I was a grief counselor and I had listened to narratives of pain as varied as the secrets of the world. But no one had ever asked me to unravel death or to help him to die. Usually, people came to me to help them master their pain or to find a way to live with it. I would listen to their stories and, more often than not, I would tell them my own. I was a healer, and stories were my herbs. I listened carefully and asked probing questions, of course, but it was from my vast collection of stories – chapters from my own life, passages from books, anecdotes that I had either been told or overheard, lyrics from songs, and other sources – that I usually ministered to my clients. There was my studied and continually refined manner too, but the stories were fundamental. In a sense, I was a life coach, not an incarnation of a Book of the Dead.