We haven’t done a widow story in a while. Today’s story repeats something that should make sense but we find that it gets repeated over and over. It is surprising to find women in this age and times still very dependent on their husbands for everything. Suddenly the man isn’t there and the woman is left helpless. In this case, the man didn’t allow the wife to work but we have seen cases where even where the husband has encouraged the woman, she isn’t interested. She doesn’t have savings, neither does she have plans. We don’t pray for sudden death or divorce but everyone should be prepared for eventualities of any sort. Husband, make a will. Wife, have an amount of independence. If nothing, you would be able to be of some help to your husband. Please take time and read some of the older cases as well as other articles we have in Davina diaries. You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need advice. Cheers
My name is Ebere and this is the story of how I became a widow. Hopefully, women will learn from my tale.
I met my husband as a secondary school leaver. I was preparing to go for secretarial studies as that was what was in vogue for girls then. He was already at the university studying to be an accountant. We met when I travelled briefly to stay with an aunt who just had a baby. He was friends with my aunt’s neighbour. He told me he’d marry me from the first day he saw me. I laughed because I felt I’d soon return to my base and that would be it.
He bought me gifts and would walk me to the market whenever he was around. I stayed for about six months with my aunt before returning home. To my amazement, months after I got home and started my secretarial studies, he showed up at my house with his brother. That was how we started marriage preparation.
We had our traditional marriage first before the church wedding almost two years later. I had six children for him. He didn’t support my getting a job so I remained a housewife. It wasn’t easy caring for six children spaced by only two years each. So being a housewife was a tasking job. In addition, relatives from his family would always show up and stay for weeks. Feeding them was a herculean task.
To make matters worse, my husband would never give me enough for the upkeep. I was constantly collecting things on credit. This made me want to start a business but my husband would hear none of it. My husband had a good job but was burdened with extended family demands. There was always one thing or the other. This put a strain on our relationship. I felt trapped.
If I had been wiser maybe I would have kept even a little portion of housekeeping money aside monthly since it was never enough anyway.
How I Became A Widow
One day my husband collapsed in the office. One of the staff came home to inform me. I rushed to the hospital to see him. He looked very pale and weak. He couldn’t talk. The doctors said he had suffered a stroke. They lectured me about high blood pressure and all that, but my mind was on my husband. Sadly he passed on two days later.
I had no money. My mind instantly filled with regrets. We had three children in the university and three in the secondary school, one of which was about to take the UME exams. I cried more of regret that my husband’s death even though both were painful.
Immediately the news broke about his death, his brothers flung into action. They took away our only car. They searched the house for documents and useful items. This was even before travelling for the burial. It was my elder brother who sent money to my children to enable them to come for the burial. The office thankfully sorted out the medical bills.
My brothers in law went behind me to collect his gratuity from the company but thankfully they declined their request. When we travelled for the burial, they made me sit on the floor, shaved my head and that of my daughters as well. We only ate bread and drank water for the three days. Of course, they accused me of killing him. I was mandated to wear black for a year. As we lived in a rented apartment, they couldn’t take the house. They took almost everything else, refrigerator, TV, air conditioners, the car and some antique.
My Life As A Widow
My children and I returned to an empty house. We sat together and cried. I thank God for them. They encouraged me. I knew we couldn’t afford that house anymore so we needed to move to a smaller place. My husband’s company paid off what they owed, it helped me sort out my children’s fees and start up a small business.
I started selling food and drinks to survive. It wasn’t easy. I regretted not having a penny when he died, I would have been able to fight back when my in-laws came calling.
All my children are graduates now. I’m a grandmother of three and my eldest child bought a car for me recently. I thank God for his mercies because It was not easy at all.
My advice to young girls now is to ensure you have something doing in marriage, don’t marry a man who will not allow you to work but yet will not provide. Don’t suffer for nothing, have only the number of children you can cater to.