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Some people are going crazy because a woman who's been widowed for two years is remarrying. It's 2019 but Nigerian widows still face this kind of censure.

Mama's friend became widowed at 27. She had a son. She tried to remarry at 32. The furore over her decision was shocking!
Her late husband's family ordered that she "return their grandson," if she dared to ahead and marry.
She's 59 today. Still unmarried.

In 2007, my friend Nene* was widowed at 26. She was accused of killing her husband. To prove her innocence, she was made to drink the water with
which his corpse was washed and sleep next to the corpse for three days. Before the ink on his death certificate had dried, his brothers carted away EVERYTHING they owned.

At a family meeting, she was asked to choose one of her husband's brothers (already married) as a spouse.
She refused. They said she couldn't remarry. If she chose to, she was to bring back their brother's children to be raised by his family.

She remarried four years later. They said, "Aha! We said it! She killed her husband. She couldn't even mourn him properly."
As a widow, you aren't expected to remarry. It's not even eternity yet; your husband's grave is still fresh. How dare you?
You have kids? Better! Your children should suffice till you die.

On this same app, a man boasted of how he discouraged his widowed mother from remarrying.
Bear in mind that this young man and his siblings are married and enjoying life with their spouses. But their mother deserves loneliness.

A man's wife dies today? Ah! Ome nah!

It's at the wife's graveside that people will be organising a new wife for him. They had kids? OK nah!
"How will you manage without a woman? You need a woman to help you with the children."

"You know you're still young and body no be wood."

"This house needs a woman's touch," they'll say, when they visit.
Eno's* husband died November, last year. In May, she had a birthday party and shared pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

Reaction? A family meeting.

"You didn't wear black or do the mandatory one year of mourning. And now you're throwing parties? Ah, you're a heartless woman!"
Don't even mention a widow's sexual urges.

'Is sex food?' is the rhetoric reserved for widows.

She's assumed to have died with him. And because her spouse has died, she already feels guilty about having such urges. She can't even admit to another human what she feels.
My friends Kayode said,

"Baba Kumuyi at over 70 years, remarried under two years. Anslem Madubiko a little over a year. Baba Abiara at 73 remarried a year after his wife of almost 50 years passed on.

But Mama Idahosa is still a widow. Pastor Ilupotaife is still a widow.
Rev. Bola Odeleke who tried to remarry after 4 years was called names. She was denigrated and finally the marriage crashed. Since then, she has been single."

The thing is, consciously or unconsciously, everyone who grieves knows when it's okay to move on.
I don't get these "moral" grieving periods we allot to people. Barring any foul play, we should let people be.

Imagine death freeing you from marriage to a horrid man. Only for world people to insist you mourn him for 10 years before even thinking of happiness with someone else!
I look forward to a time when widows in this country can remarry freely, whenever they wish, without censure.

Without being told that God is the husband to widows. That he'll be a father to her fatherless children.
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