Hello, everyone, my name is Chioma and this is my widowhood journey and story. I am a mother of four and fully engaged in business now.
My parents were business owners even though the business was a small one. I helped them regularly whenever I could. So I learned how to fend for myself early in life.
When I graduated from the Polytechnic, I only worked for about a year before going into business full time. I met my husband on one of the occasions I went to the market. He was also into business. He sold men’s wear and phone accessories while I sold women’s undergarments and pieces of jewellery. It was quite a lucrative business and the market was very close to where I lived.
There was a particular merchant I bought from and that day I met his shop locked. I asked around and they said he had some issues and would not be returning for a while. I stood wondering what to do until one of the people there directed me to someone else who sold the same thing and at the same rate.
It was at that shop I met my husband Victor. He was a regular buyer there. He came to me and introduced himself. I told him what I did and he seemed impressed. We exchanged numbers and then went on with our business for the day.
Victor called me later that day and that sort of started our relationship. He didn’t attend any tertiary institution, having dropped out after secondary school to focus on business and he was doing well for himself. Initially, I had my inhibitions but I gradually changed my mind and gave the relationship my all. He came for my hand in marriage after two years of dating. After the wedding, I had to move out of my area to his side of town. This meant a loss of customers for me but I was eager to start a family so I didn’t mind.
The marriage proved to be a different ball game entirely. I still continued my business but my husband began to complain that I was going out too much. He made me stop with the promise that he would take care of my every need. It was easier said than done especially when the children began to arrive.
I had my four children in quick successions. He tried to cater for us but this proved hard at times. He also had relatives that looked up to him for money. So he was basically sharing his profits with so many people and we could not even invest.
After a while, I began to wish I had married a more educated man. I had ideas but I could do nothing because he expected me to stay at home with the children full time. It was really trying times and I nearly went into depression. I secretly began to sell again. This time I would send someone to get the things for me and I would find a way to dispatch them. It wasn’t the same and I owed a lot initially but it stabilized gradually. I didn’t tell my husband about it.
My Journey To Widowhood
It was close to our tenth year of marriage when my husband suddenly took ill. He was forced to completely stop work. I had to fill in for him because we needed the money for hospital bills. It also helped me look more into my own business. I had to get a maid as well to assist me. Victor’s condition deteriorated and he spent his last days in the hospital. He urged me to take care of the children and use his business to my advantage. He seemed remorseful as he found himself dependent on me.
When he passed on, I didn’t react. I just sat numb as people came and went during condolence visits. I only broke down at the graveside. His family came for what they could. I just didn’t care as I thought I was in a dream and would soon wake up to find that everything would be okay. I suddenly awoke to reality when the ceremonies were over to find that I was alone and doing everything. Taking the children to school, doing their homework with them, paying bills and attending all meetings. I thank God for strength and for good friends who hung around in that dark period.
It’s not easy being a widow. You need all the support you can get emotionally and financially. As much as living with my husband was challenging, I still loved him and miss him. Widowhood brings its own set of challenges.
Enough said. Nothing more to add really. Widowhood or widowerhood or being a widow isn’t something one plans for. Even in the event of a spouse being ill prior to death, it still comes unexpectedly.
Husbands should allow their wives to work and earn an income. She should be allowed to be independent. It contributes to overall marital health as the wife would be more confident and can be a proper helper to her husband not just money wise.
Why would a husband not want his wife to work? I would love to hear responses from me. If you are a wife in this situation, why are you not working? Is there no way to change this? Why would an able-bodied woman choose financial dependence over independence? Please, I would love to have your comments.
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