Widows and
widowers want mates too
How do widows, who have suddenly
become single, cope with this state? How do they stabilise emotionally and still
maintain their status as single parents?

 Since John lost
Eugenia, his late wife, life had been hell! “That was five years ago and I was
left with two kids. Initially, I thought nobody could fill the vacuum her death
caused and I made up my mind never to get married again,” he said. But that was
short-lived. “I realised after my third year of widowhood that I took a foolish
decision. Why? I was not only lonely; I was tired playing a dual role in the
lives of the kids. I dressed them up for school (his kids are toddlers), got
the maid to cook and clean the home and I also engaged in school runs. Though I
was seeing a lady who was warming my bed, I had to take her outside the home
for such activities because I didn’t want to hurt my kids’ emotions. By the
time I decided settling down for re-marriage, my in-laws and neighbours started
raising the alarm. I was disappointed in them all because they failed to
realise that I was single and needed a mate too. I decided getting serious with
a lady in my office. She was the secretary to my boss and we became very close.
I bought things for her, supported her parents and siblings, helped with her
car maintenance and so many other things. I was ready to marry her but my late
wife’s mother was against it. She brain-washed my children and they became
hostile to Kunmi, my lover. It got to the extent that she started receiving
phone calls and was informed that I was under a curse and that every woman I
marry must die. This affected our affair and the girl took to her heels. I have
dated other women but by the time my neighbours talked to them, they stop
seeing me. I have decided to move out of that neighbourhood and start my life
all over again. I can’t be a widower forever!
Maybe widows are worst hit. By the time Rufus
died, one thing was clear to Perpetual, his widow—you bear your emotional burdens
alone. “It was difficult coping with the loss of a man I loved and married for
12 year,” she began. “At 37, I was a young widow and had three kids. Though I
was getting support from his family members and friends, I needed more than
money. I wanted someone I could share my heart with. It was horrible sleeping
alone, tendering to the kids alone and I had nobody to support my emotional
needs. I was living in the family house and there was no way a male friend
could visit me. In fact, none of my in-laws thought of re-marriage for me. To
them, I had my kids and that should make me forget that I am a woman with blood
flowing in my veins. Though my mother-in-law suggested one of my late husband’s
uncles, I rejected the idea. The man was old and I will become a widow again if
I packed into his house. For three years, I struggled with my emotional needs
until I met Fabian. He was a young man and still single. Surprisingly, he
wanted to marry me and even adopt my kids but we met a brick wall when his
parents saw me. His mother wondered how her son would bring home a widow. What
if I killed her son just as I killed my late husband? I cried and explained to
them that my late husband died of cancer and I didn’t have a hand in it. Fabian
was adamant and told his parents that he loved me and would marry me. This went
on for a year but gradually, he withdrew due to pressure from his family and I
am alone now. At 41, I am still pretty, my figure is stunning and I have had a
few male friends but many run from marriage because of widowhood. Even my
in-laws had declared that immediately I re-marry, I have to pack out of their
house and they will stop my allowance but 
kids’ school fees will be paid. They have refused to see me as a single lady,
to them, I am a widow.  I still don’t
know why being a widow makes me different from other women.”

The first state is
coming to terms with the fact that you have lost a loved one and there is
nothing you do that would bring him/her back. Being single once again also
means facing life and pushing back the past, especially the fears of
re-occurrence. It is also not seeing your late spouse in whomever you
date/intend dating. Remember there are the kids to talk to on your plans.
Coping with selfish in-laws require wisdom and lots of patience. They also
nurse their loss too and would not be comfortable seeing another person putting
on the shoes of your late spouse. There is also the need to carefully and
prayerfully get involved with someone who would accept your kids and play the
role of that late spouse well.