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Pains Of An African Widow

By Amara
13 February 2015   |   11:00 pm
A MAN loses his wife and is advised by friends and relatives to marry another almost immediately. Some wait for one year while others do it after 3 months. Some even start from funeral night, sleeping with their wife’s best friend who is already set to move in as madam; the society does not frown…

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A MAN loses his wife and is advised by friends and relatives to marry another almost immediately. Some wait for one year while others do it after 3 months. Some even start from funeral night, sleeping with their wife’s best friend who is already set to move in as madam; the society does not frown at this because he’s a man. 

A woman loses her husband, she is expected to mourn endlessly and live miserably. She is advised by the society to forget her own life and live just for her children. If she has no child, she is expected to either settle as a play thing for her late husband’s male relatives and friends and in a case where she tries to do her own thing, she is thrown out to the cold.          .

What an unfair treatment, man’s inhumanity to woman and sadly, even women have bought into this ill treatment of the female folk. Sadly, women are the ones who maltreat their fellow woman when this happens; women are the first to accuse her of killing their brother; women are the ones who go inside to team up with their husbands against a fellow woman; women are the first to tell a heart-broken woman who is already in pain to sleep on a bare floor, in darkness, for days and possibly drink water from the corpse; women are the first to forcefully shave her hair, it keeps going round…the cycle continues.                        .

Are we really being fair to these widows? Have we for once paused to put ourselves in their shoes? Why do we have to go on allowing some male chauvinists to have their way with women? When are the women going to sit up and start watching each other’s back? I don’t know when because I don’t see that happening because the easiest eat way to pull a woman down is by using another woman against her. When this happens, men just sit back and relax as we fight each other.                       . 

Back to the topic for today; A very vibrant young woman loses her husband and because she has children, you want her to live the rest of her life single. How old are you and you still have your husband? Who knows what you would do if such befalls you tomorrow? How old is that your brother’s wife? I was pained the day some old widows in my organization brought a report to me against a young widow whose husband died leaving behind four children, plus the one she was pregnant for. This young woman isn’t up to 25 years. I looked at her and couldn’t help shedding tears. Then I turned to the older widows and reminded them that some of their daughters are older than that young widow. I asked to know if anyone of them had bothered to send some food across for her children and that was when it dawned on them that they were bad neighbours. We just criticize these women; say all kinds of nasty things against them without putting ourselves in their shoes. The society kept them where they are and the same society is criticizing them for doing what they should do to survive and feed their fatherless children. We need to help these widows.

Don’t forget; marriage is “till death do us part” and so a woman should have the right to decide on what to do after her husband is gone. There is no covenant whatsoever between a man and his spouse once death comes in. It’s sad to see even priests who should know better speak against these young widows for remarrying after death. I have seen priests support families of the man against his widow; this ought not to be so.                           .

Even Apostle Paul, in the Bible, advised that women below 60 shouldn’t be called widows to avoid giving chance to the Devil. And who told you that marriage is just for sex? It’s more for companionship! “Stay for your children “, “stay for your children “, have you watched to see how unfulfilled those women are after their children are grown and out to the world? And those of you asking her to stay to enable you grace her bed at will, have you thought about the feelings of the dead man as he watches his relatives and friends (if at all the dead sees) take turns on his wife? Have you considered the feelings of her children as they see you take advantage of their mother’s vulnerability? I shudder when I see women support their husbands against a fellow woman. What you don’t know is that the same woman you are fighting could have turned down your husbands sexual requests and so he’s fighting her. Now tell me; shouldn’t you be grateful to her for rejecting him? Shouldn’t you stand and protect her? 

 Women, love yourselves enough to say no to this act of chauvinism. And those of you bragging about your aunt or friends wife staying single, did/do they really stay single? A good number of them grace beds of different men every night while acting to be widows. And this is what male relatives and friends love-having her whenever they want. Many do memorial of their husbands every year, sponsored by the numerous men gracing their bed, and yet people are blind to these things, they appreciate lies better than truth. Who is fooling who? 

Some wicked souls even ask her to forfeit the man’s properties if she must go. And who is more qualified to keep his properties? Who would protect his interest better in his absence? Shouldn’t it be with the wife instead of relatives who never liked him and never asked after him before death? No death in my family since I was born, but if anyone should try this with any of my brothers’ wives, they shall see fire.

 A woman can stay single after her husband, but it must be her personal decision and not because that is what the society wants from her. Again, if you want your wife to stay single for you when you’re gone, please love her the way no other man would. If you want her to genuinely mourn you, treat her in such a way that any man that comes after you is inefficient. From my job as a counselor and as someone who runs a NGO for widows, I have seen and heard so much. A widow once told me that she is better a widow, she told me that God loves her so much that He didn’t allow her to commit murder. 

She said her husband died just when she started considering poisoning him because of the endless pain she went through in his hands. There are widows everywhere claiming to be mourning their husbands; Only a few are mourning their husbands. We don’t know who dies first, but since we believe that men should die first, what do you think would be your wife’s earnest feeling the day you are gone?

 If you are a widow reading this, your life shouldn’t end because your husband is gone. You lived before him; please live after him. Just be decent and honour him in whatever you do. Say no to those relatives and friends coming to eat your husband’s food. He would be happier you are married to someone else than sleeping around with his friends and relatives who never liked him. Don’t let anyone tie you down because they threaten to take everything he owned; you can survive and live without those things. And if you can, the law court and some agencies are there to protect your rights. Learn to respect yourself!Amara Van-Lare