Mama's friend became widowed at 27. She had a son. She tried to remarry at 32. The furore over her decision was shocking!
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
At a family meeting, she was asked to choose one of her husband's brothers (already married) as a spouse.
She remarried four years later. They said, "Aha! We said it! She killed her husband. She couldn't even mourn him properly."
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.
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!
"You know you're still young and body no be wood."
"This house needs a woman's touch," they'll say, when they visit.
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!"
'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.
"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.
The thing is, consciously or unconsciously, everyone who grieves knows when it's okay to move on.
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!
Without being told that God is the husband to widows. That he'll be a father to her fatherless children.