Widowhood tales 40: Natasha, He Was Poisoned

Widowhood tales 40: Natasha, He Was Poisoned

My name is Natasha and this is my widowhood story. I’ve been widowed for 8 years and I must say it’s been a hell of a journey. Sometimes I just wish I could turn back the hands of time. However, I’m not sure if my husband would have been alive or maybe not. Anyways, here’s my widowhood story


My husband Sammy and I got together in rocky circumstances. Both of us were on the rebound from previously painful breakups. I had just left a toxic relationship while he had just realized his fiancée was serially cheating on him. Friends warned us not to date, but Sammy and I were always devout optimists. We took a chance on each other and we were married a year and 5 months later.

Sammy was at the verge of completing his own house when we met. We pulled resources together and a year after we got married, we moved to our own house. We had three children even though we initially just wanted two. Our lives seemed perfect until the day it turned around.

Beginning of my widowhood journey

One day, Sammy returned from work feeling very funny. Before we could wrap our heads around it, he was foaming in the mouth and clutching his stomach. Quickly and with the help of our kids, I rushed him to a hospital. Little did I know that was the beginning of our trials. I also had no inkling I had started my journey into widowhood.

Initially, the doctors couldn’t make sense of what seemed to be wrong with him. Later on, they said it was a case of food poisoning mixed with allergy. From then, It was from one hospital to another in search of a cure.

Months later, Sammy developed a stroke and his system would just threaten to shut down at times. It was a roller coaster ride for everyone in the family. Our once bubbly and cheerful family became gloomy and filled with fear of the unknown. I for one was fearful because I kept thinking if this was how our love story was meant to end? I wasn’t ready to be widowed but grief started before his death.

Love in the midst of grief

But something thing kept me going during my grief. In the course of his illness, we grew closer, rather than further apart. We were more in love and kinder to each other than ever before. The awareness of death made us appreciate each other and what we had more than ever. It was as though he was prepping me for the inevitable whenever we were alone and talking.

We loved each other intensely and were true partners in life. Prior to his illness, we both had independent lives. While there was much we did together, there was also much that we did apart. Sammy travelled a lot for work, sometimes spending up to four months of the year out of the country.

He made friends all over Ghana and the countries he visited.  Some of these friends, I got to meet and others, I knew only through the stories he told me. He was a highly social person.

Death and widowhood

Then the inevitable came finally, and Sammy passed on after a long battle with different ailments. Even though I didn’t want him to go, I knew it was best for him. He had suffered too much in the days leading up to his death. He passed on in his sleep at the age of 54. I was pained that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye.

While we prepped for his burial, I received news that shook me.  A colleague of my husband had been found to be the one who poisoned him! The colleague confessed to having poured stuff into his coffee. Sammy’s coffee was poisoned that very day he returned from work feeling funny.

The guy confessed that he was angry that Sammy was promoted twice above him. He had come to see my husband as a threat. He wasn’t going to have someone who began working at the company much later than he become his superior.

My husband’s killer!!

His motive wasn’t to kill Sammy. According to his confessions, his plan was to make him useless to the company. This, in turn, would cause Sammy’s responsibilities to fall to him by default.

I was horrified when this news got to me. My husband was an easy-going person, how did he become a victim of such wickedness. I couldn’t even attend the killer’s trial. There was no willingness in me to face such a villain. Especially since I already knew why he did it.

I learnt he committed suicide a day before court judgment was passed on him. He killed himself with the very substance he used in killing my beloved husband. The funny thing was that his death didn’t make me feel any better. No amount of justice equates my husband’s life.

I took solace in knowing my husband lived well and was a good husband and father to our kids. My heart beamed with joy at having been married to such a good man. Heartwarming tributes poured in from the day he died up to his burial.

The tributes

One tribute that particularly touched me the most was from a young man. The guy had attended a leadership conference where Sammy was a guest speaker. It touched him that not only did Sammy gave advice about career and personal development, He also spoke about how choosing the right life partner was critical.

He remembered how Sammy went on to speak about how I had supported him. How I had stood by him through all his amazing endeavours. Also adding, that he had been equally supportive of me as well. That day, he went away from the session thinking “I want that in life.” He wished he could get to my husband’s age still speaking with such adoration and respect for his wife. To him, it would be a sure sign that he had lived a good life.

Those words from that young man meant so much. It summed up for me everything that was central to the kind of love and partnership that Sammy and I shared. I couldn’t help but cry and smile all at the same time as I read.

During his illness, Sammy was always quick to tell the children and me how much he loved us. In the days leading up to his death, he told us even more frequently. It was as though he wanted to imprint his love for us in our hearts.

The burial and my widowhood life

Standing close to his coffin, I told him how much I loved him. How I would always love him, and that I considered myself so lucky to have had him as my partner. It felt empty to me then. I wished I was saying them to his face more often when I had him with me. But I wasn’t the vocal one in our relationship.

All I can say now is, I am a woman who even though her husband had died, he hasn’t passed. He is absent but not erased. Every now and then, I catch a glimpse of him in the curve of my sons’ jaws. I also see it in my daughter’s laughter.

Sammy is dead but our relationship outlives him. His presence remains a deeply embedded internal reservoir. The shape of our love holds firm and I continue to be forged and fortified by it. I turn to it for comfort and encouragement as I bear my grief and navigate life. It is still the rock on which I rely till date.

Thanks for reading my widowhood story. Widowhood isn’t easy, it takes quite some adjustment and getting used to. Several marriage offers have come my way, but I have refused. I am scared of having something less than what I had previously. Marriage to Sammy was so good. I would rather remain in widowhood than find myself unhappy.

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