I remember being prayed for the same day Mr Aisi passed on or maybe, it was the very next day and someone (I can’t remember who now) uttered the word the “widow and the fatherless” in prayers and I thought to myself –widow and fatherless ke!
Then it dawned on me, that I had become a part of that strata of society that is looked at with some tinge of pity and fear. Pity (Eiyah she is so young) fear ( may it not be my portion).
The facts were true, my husband and the father of my children had just died but I didn’t feel like a widow ( I am young, feisty and full of life, widows wear black, look drab and are much older or should be) and how could my children be fatherless when they had a father – the fact that he was dead notwithstanding. To me, they had a father but he just wasn’t there present. Fatherless connotes abandonment and it was almost as if they were being called illegitimate.
I had years of courtship to prepare for the change in my last name, nine months to prepare for motherhood but over twenty years of marriage left me totally unprepared to become or be called a widow. But here I am, a widow and my children suddenly, fatherless.
Yes I know the Bible talks about the “widow and the fatherless” but do we need to refer to a wife and children as widows and fatherless? We know that’s what they have become but must we voice it, so soon? What happened to my name, our monikers?
Come to think of it, a man is mostly never called widower neither are his children called motherless but I guess the answer will be that the Bible doesn’t say God is the wife of the widower and mother of the motherless.
Why do we label people without any consideration for the way they are feeling whilst they are still processing what has happened and not having come to terms with it?
Why must society tell me who I have become and insist on calling me a name I had not yet adopted as my own?
I know it’s not something that is consciously thought out and most of us don’t mean any harm or spite but the effects are so, so, devastating because most often than not, they smack us in the face to the things we would rather face alone in our own time and way.
So; you may ask how do we address the woman whose husband has just died and my answer is what happened to how you addressed her before the death of her husband?
She is still the same person just that she is going through a rough patch in life. Call her what you used to call her especially when praying for her. After all God knows her name.
By the way, as many of my friends will admit, I call myself a widow, especially when I am being naughty, mischievous or just factual but you see, the difference is that I am coming to terms with my new station in life and it is me calling myself a widow and not anyone else.