My name is Divine, I entered into widowhood, the first morning after my marriage. I was married and widowed in less than 24hours. It was so unbelievable that life itself became unreal to me in that very instant. I felt like a character in a very tragic movie and wished it would end real quickly so I could return to the real world but alas! The real world was where the tragedy actually happened.
I met my husband, Best as I fondly called him in medical college, we were both medical students and our romance was a whirlwind sort of thing. He had just gotten out of a relationship in which his girlfriend had dumped him for another guy who was much more ready to settle down. I could tell he was heartbroken and wore the hurt on his sleeves, causing him to be cynical and uninclined towards ladies.
Anyways, I was fascinated by his aloofness and found a way to get into his skin. We had few verbal quarrels but I eventually wormed my way into his heart and was scared by the outcome.
I only wanted to be his friend but He fell hard for me and we became inseparable so much that I worried our relationship could be a huge distraction to our career, but Best handled my fears like an angel.
The Joy Of Marriage
After our housemanship, we both got retained by the hospital but Best opted to work for an uncle of his who owned a hospital for expatriates. Things were looking good for us and it was a pleasant surprise when Best proposed to me one year into our career. I agreed and we began our wedding plans. We were both from Benin in Edo state Nigeria, so the wedding held there.
Fast forward to our wedding day, we had the most amazing wedding ceremony and a celebration of love. So many activities took place and on the evening of our wedding, I was escorted to his father’s house where he grew up and was welcomed with much fanfare. The usual rites were performed with the washing of legs and all sorts. It was a long day after all and we all went to bed. Our marriage thanksgiving was to hold the next day being Sunday.
The next day, I was jolted out of sleep by a loud bang on my door. It was difficult for me to wake up early as a result of fatigue from dancing and activities of the previous day. As I opened my swollen eyes, I realised this was not my usual room, then I remembered the lavish wedding ceremony that had taken place the day before, the marriage rites and fanfare, and now here I was in my new home as a new wife.
The Morning After
I quickly took in my environment, I realized I had slept in Best’s old room before he moved out of his parents’ and a smile crossed my face at the sight of an old photo of him as a child in his elementary school sportswear.
Quickly, I stretched myself and got out of the bed, ‘where was my Best anyways?’ I thought to myself. My eyes began searching for a comb. This was my time, my moment and I had to look beautiful and fresh like a newly-wed television character. Whoever was at the door could wait, I knew if it was Best, he would have come in straight without knocking. I still wondered where he was as I combed my hair and then smiled at the mirror. The knock was louder this time.
As I rushed to open the door, I dashed my foot against a metal stool I didn’t notice was on the way and yelped in pain, I immediately had a bad feeling in my guts, something wasn’t right. Opening the door with a smile planted on my face, I saw it was my brother-in-law that had been banging. He gave me a harsh yet sad look, “Come downstairs at once” he said and walked away.
I thought he had come to tell me we were running late for the church thanksgiving service but his order was strange. Quickly opened my box of clothes, I got something decent to wear and stood in front of the mirror admiring myself, I thought I looked different, beautiful and happy. I was humming a song from the wedding ceremony as I headed downstairs.
My Journey Into Widowhood
The scene in the living room was very different from what I had expected, it was quiet even though it was filled with people of all ages, who had come for the previous day’s wedding but their faces looked worried, sad, scared.
My eyes quickly searched for my husband who I thought had woken up earlier before me to get some things done before church but I couldn’t see him. I expected some fun comments, compliments, to be made but nothing was said, no one spoke to me.
As I got closer, my brother-in-law asked: “did he your husband tell you where he was going?” I became confused, and stared back at him only to ask, “Go where?” There were whispers across the room. Then I heard my brother-in-law say there had been an accident and my husband was involved.
I became unaware of the happenings from that moment, I was dazed. Where was my husband? What was the matter? Was everything okay with him? My mind was full of numerous questions. The time was past 8 in the morning but I was sweating profusely. Then my brother-in-law’s phone rang, and he answered the call, I scanned the faces of everyone in the room. They all looked worried, eager and were avoiding my eyes. Little did I realise that I had just been plunged into Widowhood.
“We are coming he said after a long pause from listening to the other end of the call. There was pin-drop silence in the room, I could almost hear everyone’s heartbeats.
After a few seconds, my brother-in-law informed us that they had located the hospital he was rushed to. Apparently, my parents-in-law and some other family members had rushed off when they first got news of the accident.
During the drive to the hospital, I felt alone, lost in a desert or maybe an island as everyone was quiet, no one was talking to me. I wanted to shout, yell or cry. I had several questions unanswered. Where was he going to so early in the morning that got him involved in an accident?
The drive to the hospital that morning was the longest trip of my life. On getting to the hospital reception, I heard my mother-in-law’s wails and ran towards it. There she was, rolling on the floor in agony and other faces I saw were filled with tears.
I immediately got the message but didn’t want to get it. Running past them into the ER, I saw a nurse covering my husband with a sheet, I yanked the sheets off and grabbed his face, they were dead cold, his body was still and deadly gashes were all over his body.
I just stood over him, with my hands covering my mouth and my entire being trembling like an earthquake. I watched as the nurse wheeled his body away from the room. My eyes were opened but I wasn’t seeing, I can’t remember how and when I left the hospital.
Occasionally, I would notice that people stared at me with concerned eyes and worried looks. My family had been informed by that time and they were all around me. That night, my sister slept with me in my husband’s room, I lay there staring into space.
At some point, I reached out to feel my husband who I know sleeps with his clothes off, hoping to feel his solid bare chest. When I realized he wasn’t the one next to me, the dam broke and I gave a piercing scream waking the entire household. They weren’t asleep anyways and I had to be given sedatives due to my violent trembling and screams. At that moment, I wished they had injected me with something lethal instead, I wished I was dead when I eventually woke up.
The Mourning After
Best was buried in his wedding suit, I dressed him myself. They had to force me away from his graveside. The days that went by after that were the worst days of my life. I’ve been struggling with PTSD and anxiety after my traumatic loss. I’ve had severe anxiety and depression since Best’s death, and nothing has helped me get through those emotions and grief. I feel like letting go of my grief is letting go of Best and I’m unwilling to that.
This is my widowhood story. I wish it could be more comforting but it is not. I got some closure and relief in writing this widowhood story though and I think writing about it does help. God bless you all.
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