Nothing prepares a woman for the death of her husband, neither is there a medicine to cure the pain. Widowhood is a state of unspeakable pain. The
woman can not explain the depth of the pain nor can anyone touch and sooth it. Thus the pain is there forever . Moreover, the situation of widows
in Nigeria is most malignant because of certain factors that give impetus to the pains and frustrations. Hence, the burden of widows becomes too heavy
as it remains. Consequently, many widows crumble from the plight they face alone. The struggle to survive ; the battle with husband’s family, banks, government,
neighbours and even children. In fact, it is an endless battle. A widows battle is on very many fronts. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/05/plight-of-nigerian-widows/
Firstly, loneliness and depression gets a better part of the widow. The husband’s death creates a vacuum in her life. The widow is sad and
depressed because of her loss. She is traumatized by the entire situation. Unhappy and confused, the widow’s life changes as she is not able to fill the
gap and role her husband filled. It is painful especially because those things he did for her no one is there to do them.
Secondly, widows have to contend with the husband’s family. This is bad where there is already a strained relationship. Many times, families and
siblings think the own a dead man’s properties. Usually, the widow is exposed to a lot of wrangling to protect herself and her children.
Unfortunately, this aggression and confrontation is common if the children from the marriage are too young to protect their mother.
Furthermore, widows experience economic and financial hardship. This is because many times, it is the man that manages the family finances. The
widow also may not have a job so she is solely dependent on her husband. Many African men find it difficult to allow the woman access to money so
when they die , the expose the woman to untold suffering. The bank account is inaccessible to the widow because she is not a signatory. She is not also allowed access to any family business.
As a result, so much unclaimed money hangs in banks until it is looted . Sometimes, the widow may not even be aware such accounts exist and yet
she suffers hardship due to financial lack. She is tossed up and down in pursuit of the funds. What would a father gain knowing if death happens
your funds will enhance the well being of another family while yours suffer penury. If you truly love your family, put things in order while you
still can. Some are thrown out of their homes when the rent expires, children are sent out of school because fees are not paid. There is an
endless list of challenges and predicament which the widow goes through. In fact the widow is stranded.
The problems of widowhood are no longer news to us. However, it has continued without any solutions. Here are some discussions on resolving
this bad trend. It is not only the man that will solve this problem. The woman on her part must contribute, the family , the community must all
change their thoughts and biases about widows. For instance, as soon as a man dies, his cause of death is immediately known. The widow is mentioned
and labelled a murder. Thus, there is already a bias and belief that the widow is the culprit even before the funeral. So in laws are battle ready.
The main issue of economic and financial hardship is because most women are not empowered. As a result, they have no source of income to survive if
the husband dies. Economic empowerment will result in social transformation which enables survival for the widow. Poverty alleviation
will help her fill the gap of financial responsibilities that is open. Unfortunately, some women don’t even make efforts to work. They just
want to be madam at home, laid back, complacent and unproductive. Besides that a lot of women don’t also plan for such a thing occurring. They
wish it away a possibility of anyone dying. Women, help yourselves so that you are not stranded. Educate yourselves and lead discussions on a valid
plan. However, raising a discussion may bring fiction as some men will accuse you of planning to kill them to take their wealth . It is a very
complex issue. Nevertheless, women , earn an income and have a voice in your marriage. Men need intelligent and resourceful women who can take care of their children if they die before them.
It is common knowledge that women are second class citizens in most homes. There must be an acceptance of the woman as part of the family. It
must come from the husband who stands firm to declare that his wife is respected. While alive it should be clarified that she is a co- owner of the
home. It is this mindset of disrespect that exposes the woman to the rancor of treachery from other people. We must also be clear on the issue of
entitlement where family members feel entitled to the properties of a dead man. They stand on selfish cultural rules which benefits only them yet no
one cares about the welfare of the deceased’s children nor wife. Women also need to be considerate of other women . It is fellow women that
torment the widows. They craft the punishment meted out to the widows and lead the onslaught.
Widows go through more pain because many husbands do not plan on how their family survives their death. In fact, couples never discuss death. We all pretend its not there. Death is
unpredictable. It is not selective and can happen anytime. Thus, plan of survival will resolve a lot of the pressure put on the family. Such plan can
include wills, where it spells out what to do and who owns what. However, that is not water tight. It is always better to include your children and wife
in investments and businesses. If the wealth is so much, give some to siblings even though some are still greedy and would not be pacified by
that. Many men see their wives as outsiders so they don’t include them in most decisions. It is always better to put your house in order just in case
death occurs suddenly. It is equally important for parents to model exemplary behaviour like respect , boundaries and kindness to be as this contributes in raising sons that emulate
positive steps to being a man. https://familyfaculties.com/2020/06/21/raising-a-great-husband-and-father/
As children grow up, parents need to give them an orientation of respect and contentment. Teaching them to be grateful and satisfied with what they
have is good upbringing. It is disturbing to note that we have a breed of adults who feel entitled to their sibling’s properties just because they are siblings. As a result, they
pounce on their brothers’ properties like it’s their right to own. It starts from upbringing. Children must have an understanding that their siblings’
toys or clothes are not theirs. This must be made clear because it will be toys in the early years but in the future it will be major properties. Define
boundaries. Also parents should teach their children the meaning of a marriage as that it is a creation of another independent whole, another
nation created. Let them understand that it is most important to love your brother and respect his choices. Sadly, this aspect of our value system is
unaddressed. People give reasons of our culture, however, culture is man made served a purpose when there was a proliferation of polygamy . Even in
modern day polygamy, clear all doubts about the family unit. We achieve happy and useful Widows when we raise respectable and contented adults. We must also
understand that when everyone is contented , you will not be greedy and want what belongs to another. Again , most of the perpetrators of this
friction are women who leave their homes and mind their brothers’ or sons’ homes.
Summarily, alleviating the burden of widows is possible. It is necessary to enforce the legislation for their protection.. The education and enlightenment of women is also so important. As a matter of fact, men, love, protect your family when you can do it. Build trust as it is the foundation for a wholesome decision. Most importantly, lets raise good fathers and husbands, a new breed of men who will change the narrative for widows.