The widowhood Chronicles are the stories of young men and women in their late twenties to early thirties who became widowed at such an early age. Sharing their stories provides some form of therapy and closure for them especially those who went extremely painful experiences. We also find that the stories contain nuggets of truth which serve as cautionary tales, lessons or even provide hope for those going through the same episode. Please be careful and sensitive as you comment because these are true life stories. You can send in your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Thank you.
Life they say comes in phases and death is inevitable. Every Parent desires for their children to get married especially when they are of age.
I met my husband while on campus, for me it was not love at first sight but of mutual respect and reverence for him because of his influence as a pastor. We would talk about different things from relationships with people to his love life. He had told me his plans to get married that year and he asked when I would be getting married and I said next year…so I told him that he should invite me to his wedding and we laughed about it.
Month after month we grew really close and he frequently visited Benin republic where I was residing at that time and the rest was history…
We got married six months later. It was a dream come true for me because I felt I had made the right choice. We had lofty dreams, ambitions and aspirations; we looked forward to the actualization of our dreams.
Journey to Widowhood
We had just come back from an all-night service (crossover service) and we set out the same day to visit my brother in law who was celebrating his birthday. I didn’t want to go out because I was tired,but my husband compelled me to go.
We got downstairs and noticed that two of the car tires were flat. I tried making him see reasons for us not to embark on our journey but he refused vehemently, changed the tires and we got into the car. Halfway through our journey, he felt a sudden sharp pain in his heart and we had to pull over and prayed but he complained of heart pain. Little did I know that would be the beginning of my journey to widowhood.
We arrived safely at his brother’s house but he was in deep pains and couldn’t participate in the birthday ceremony and lay on the couch throughout. We got home safely and he took some pain relief pills but the pain continued and we prayed and affirmed our belief in Christ. He refused to go to the hospital and believed that through faith in Jesus Christ, he would be healed. But the pain was excruciating and I opted for us to visit the hospital. He refused to visit the hospital, I had to call his friends and family and after much compulsion, we went to the hospital.
He was diagnosed with an impending heart attack and inflammation of the heart but he was not perturbed or surprised by the news yet he kept affirming he believes in Christ. He was given some pills pending his next appointment.
I was due to go back to Benin republic where I was running a program but I didn’t want to go back but he compelled me, telling me he was fine.
On that fateful day, he took me to the Motorpark and bid me goodbye, little did I know that would be the last time I would see him.
We were making plans to move to another apartment. He called me that day with much excitement that he had seen a place I would love. We were talking on the phone and the line cut off. His cousin picked up the phone and called back He said ”Your husband just slumped” My heart was racing fast, he told me that they were on the way to the hospital. On getting to the hospital, he was confirmed dead but I wasn’t aware of this at that time.
Agonies of a widow
After the death of my beloved, I moved into another phase of life…. All I knew about being a widow was basically what I had seen in Nollywood dramas and the stories I heard people narrate. I did not know I would have similar experiences.
He was buried the same week he died… I was not given the opportunity to come to the actualization that he was dead. I could remember how my pastor came to pick me from my house in Benin republic saying that she was instructed to bring me home.
I kept asking what had happened to my husband. But she told me that he was fine. I knew something had happened. I cried from Benin republic till I got to Lagos if only tears could bring back the dead.
I got to Lagos and my dad opened the gate and said: “Dominic is dead”. At this time, I couldn’t say a word, my in-laws were already in the living room making arrangements for the burial. I was like “someone died and they were already arranging for the burial?”. I wanted to see the body but I was told there were laws by the hospital that he had to be embalmed before I could see the body.
While they were arranging for him to be buried, I got a call from his pastor while he was in university. ”He said I spoke with Dominic last week and he told me that it’s the same heart issue he had while in school that was reoccurring. “I was shocked. I was never aware of any such ailment or issues.
While he was sick, I had asked him several times if the heart issue was something he knew of but he denied it. I was angry and hurt at the same time…How could he hide such from me….I kept asking myself…where did I go wrong?
I got back to the living room and my in-laws had fixed a date….same day. He died on a Tuesday and was to be buried on Saturday(same week)
The Aftermath Of Widowhood
I still feel anger, pain and disappointment when I remember this.
Thursday was the wake keeping at my family ’s residence… His family asked if they could sleep in our apartment so it would be easier for them to go to Delta state the next day – where he was supposed to be buried and I agreed, little did I know that they had a plan. They told me that they would lock up the apartment and get the keys to me during the burial.
After the burial, I was locked out of our matrimonial house and the car was seized from me. I was accused by the elder brother for bringing ill luck to the brother. He said my brother has been living with this ailment and nothing happened to him till you got married to him”. The interesting part is that the elder brother is a pastor in our church.
I was broken! ”Did I kill my husband? why would a woman get married and wish the husband dead? My parents were ready to fight. My mum being a lawyer was ready to report the case to the National Human rights commission but I wasn’t willing to press charges. Being a Christian, I had to let go.
Life as a widow was and is pretty tough, People who knew me would always ask ..How is your husband? For some people I would reply “He is fine” and for some, I would tell them what happened which always leaves me crying and brings back lots of memories.
One of the challenges I also faced were traditions from my father’s place. I was asked to shave my hair according to the tradition where I hailed from. I wasn’t asked by my in-laws to have my hair shaved after their brother passed on probably because he was a pastor and I was young.
My dad wanted me to have my hair shaved but because of my affirmation in the word of God, I wasn’t going to let anyone blindfold me by traditions. I showed him the scriptures on widowhood in the bible and I believed my late husband had passed on to glory. I stuck to my belief system according to God’s word.
The word of God has pretty been my sustenance, Widowhood has It lows. Some guys wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with a widow. I have had friends who wanted to get into a relationship with me but once I tell them my experience, They would withdraw or their disposition towards me becomes different. I had a close male friend who after realizing I was widowed stopped communicating with me.
I felt isolated several times and was described as that lady that lost her husband months after her wedding.
Well, in a country like Nigeria where widows are maltreated especially young widows, it is seen as a taboo in some Igbo speaking parts of Nigeria when a young woman is widowed and worse when there are no ties (kids) involved.
In all the things I went through both emotionally and physically, I drew strength from Gods word which sustained me. It’s still a journey but I’m better equipped now.