Widowhood is a challenge that can turn a woman’s life upside down. It is unfortunate and sometimes ugly situation that compels the woman to make a 180-degree turn, to adjust to a new life without her beloved spouse. Bad as widowhood is, what makes the difference is the woman’s reaction to the loss and the direction (whether right or wrong) which her decision thereafter leads her. Widowhood period is a difficult, lonely and unappealing state of affairs. It is not child’s play, no matter how one looks at it. Death of a spouse could be likened to a piece of treasure that falls into the deep ocean, never to be seen again till eternity. Yes, that is how death sneaks in to take a partner away and the spouse becomes a widow or widower. It is a shattering moment, a crazy disorganizing time, a weeping and thinking period. It can also cause disorientation. It is an embarrassing and awkward phase of life which can kill dreams, thoughts and imagination without personal guard and self-restriction. Despite the grace of God, many do not survive widowhood. Men and women who go through the process and come out with all round success deserve to be celebrated.
Now, it is not a happy moment to lose a spouse, whether male or female, but when it happens, the victim is encouraged to be strong, especially when young children are involved. The onus lies on the living spouse to see that the dreams of couple are met to the best of his or her abilities. For that singular reason, it will require extra effort of the living spouse to forge ahead and raise the children to great heights, manage the properties and businesses acquired or built in the course of their joint journey, before death came calling. It might lead to creating additional streams of income, change of jobs, diversification of businesses, or even to try the missionary journey again if it is worth the while.
Interestingly, it is biblically and morally right to consider a second marriage when a spouse is no longer living but with the right reasons and special emphasis on the welfare of the children. Those who are interested in walking the road again should ensure their second unions are based on responsibility and not a quest for righteous sexual fulfilment. But unfortunately, many widowhood-induced second unions do not like to carry the burden of previous marriages. In most cases, it leads to the distribution of children to relatives, friends, associates and acquaintances. The relocated children might not receive the best of treatments in their new abode. Widows and widowers, who marry men or women that reject children, I pray such people do not lose both spouse and the children they already have.
While distributing the children, let all know that anything and everything is possible in life. There might be a door to success and also a door to failure for the relocated children’s chapter of life. The successful opportunities of another man’s child in another home are very rare. I also agree that some children embarrass their biological parents through their attitude, but it will be worse if such attitudes are shown in another man’s home.
Now, when a widow meditatively looks at that passage where the Bible refers to God as husband of the widow, then she would not need to send her ward to anyone to help her in training the child, no matter the number of children. But, men and women who became single due to death of a spouse always reap the fruit of their labour if they do what is universally acceptable, socially desirable and economically profitable. Again, widowhood rejects competition, distraction, fraud, contaminable spirit, wickedness and witchcraft. It rather welcomes peace of the mind, love, unity, progress and hard work. There is no how a child would see his or her surviving parent go through double-portion-stress, walk the lonely road, do all the calculations, take all decisions right and wrong for the benefit of the family, yet all the children would close the road and lose their sense of values. Whatever it is, it has always been better for widows and widowers to live with and train their children, and generally sort themselves out together in good and bad times. Wake up with your children, do your business together and sell the pure water with them, it goes a long way to strengthen the family bond and sense of responsibility instead of sending them out to die in a rich man’s home. Most children sent out on the account of lack, ostensibly to have greater life opportunities because their mother was widowed do not come back with success stories. A lot of bad experiences go with such arrangements knowingly and unknowingly.
Again, when a spouse needs to remarry, it should be an acceptable development on both sides, not force or for a particular reason. It should also be for the sake of companionship, pure love and honesty.
But again, when an unnecessary second marriage syndrome is avoided, troubles and squabbles are also reduced to the barest minimum. There will not be room for any bickering, threat and maltreatment. No one will feel cheated and embittered. I heard a second wife somewhere warn her stepchildren, “If you disturb me, I will disturb your father in the bedroom and he will drive you all away.” This is a house built by the man and his late wife and a hen-pecked husband is directed to deprive the children of their mother’s sweat. Too bad!
Another account was told of Mr. Wilson, a widower, who refused to remarry because of his four young daughters. There was family pressure to take a second wife since his wife was no longer living. Moreover, there was no male child to become the heir apparent to the throne. Wilson refused all pleas because he didn’t want any form of abuse or maltreatment on his girls who he held in high esteem. The circle of his friends suspected he had used his manhood for ritual purposes and therefore named him hermaphrodite. He ignored all that and remained steadfast, focused and dutiful until his intelligent girls graduated in flying colours, blessed with good jobs in multinational companies and were all married off to responsible men. In appreciation, his girls encouraged him to marry a wife of his choice after depriving himself a lot for them. Wilson was made a living king until he passed unto glory at the ripe age.
In another account, a cheap unanimous widow distributed her children to distant relatives so as to bring in her young lover for sexual satisfaction. Her teenage sons found their new abode uncomfortable and were always running home looking unto the comfort of their mother. Intermittently, they would see male pair of shoes, shirts and underwear. On inquiry she told the boys that he was a stranded church member who later became mummy’s ‘sugar boy’ as the boys discovered and dragged the man outside with lashes of koboko before setting the house ablaze.
Can a young widower be applauded for abandoning his children with his aged mother in the village and taking a new wife to the city where he lives? I found it very disturbing for the aged woman who had paid her dues to now take up the burden of raising five young children again when she should be relaxing to enjoy the fruits of her labour.
Take it or leave it, it has always been very fruitful and advisable for widows and widowers to stay with their children. Any sympathizer or Good Samaritan can extend the hand of love to the children while they are home with their parents. Widowhood must wither the bereaved spouse. Give the children your time, love them, provide for them, teach them the way of God, be a responsible widow or widower, instead of jumping into a second marriage and creating more problems. Remember your children in your youthful years before it is too late.