Losing a wife in an early age is quite devastating and can throw any man off balance when he realises that he’s left alone to take care of all the essential needs of his children and this can be so traumatic.
A widower in his forties shares an emotional life story on Voice Your Stories website of what it feels like living a life of loss while thriving to meet the emotional needs of his children.
“It was really hard and the death of my wife made me realize the thin line between fiction and reality. I let myself face the truth to phantom that this story has come to be with me and will be part of me till my last breath on earth.
It happened very fast, just under two months, l lost my wife in the early cessation of life. She was the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh. She fell ill and all efforts to get her back on her feet proved abortive.
I still recall the last day of the tragic situation each time l drive across Anua hospital at Nwaniba road, Uyo. You needed to see how restless l was when l was told that there was no longer oxygen to keep her alive. The hospital ran out of oxygen because of her and a new one needed to be filled up urgently.
l had to get one of the cylinders from the hospital and rush to Uyo teaching hospital to get a refill but on my arrival, l received a phone call that l should not bother filling the cylinder that my wife was okay.
I can’t remember myself letting out a tear on any situation but on this day after receiving the news, l drowned in my tears, l cried so deeply that l had no tears left anymore. I actually drove back to Anua hospital where my late wife was and l was met with the reality…l echoed.. “She is gone”.
Now breaking the news to my children at that early age of their mum’s demise was a bit difficult but it was a task that had to be done. I told them that their mum will be traveling to heaven in a box and she will not be coming back. They reacted to the news with astonishment and all these years they have come to understand the facts and they have supported me all the way.
Accepting this dreadful reality of being a widower became my cross, l had to struggle to fill up the gap by taking full responsibilities of catering for my 3 -year -old twin girls and a five-year-old son . They were quite young when their mum passed away and l had to become their father and mother by waking up as early as 4:30am to prepare them for school, making them breakfast, lunch, dinner and also taking care of their emotional needs.
It has been tough for the past four years and I thank God for holding me down but l am also deeply grateful for the tutelage l got from my parents while growing up because it has aided me scale through the chaos domestic chores.
This situation has made me harass market women with my pricing attitude because l am a good pricer and l learnt it while accompanying my late wife to the market. My children are good with house chores and this has really gone a long way.
It has been a tasking journey because l try so hard as a widowed father to fill the gap to be both mother and father to the kids. It has also made me stronger although there is that part of me that is still very broken.
After her demise, l made a pledge that l will continue from where she stopped. I said l and the kids will survive and as you can see, l still have her picture in the sitting room and l am not planning to remove it.
I have a phobia for marriage, l just have this fear of marrying another woman because l am scared she might die too. I also need a woman who will give unconditional love to my kids. People jump into marriage as soon as their spouses pass away but this is a different ball game for me.
It is quite unfortunate that the society prefers helping widows to widowers because people feel men are strong enough to handle any circumstance. But widowers should also be considered because they are vulnerable in handling family issues.
Widowers are a special set of individuals because most of them depended on their late wives to take care of the homes. Whereas women are likely to cope with the family issue because they are homemakers. I think widows and widowers should be taken care of equally.
Despite all odds, l am coping daily by giving my children all the love, time and everything that l would have given my wife. Although l miss out in a lot of things like traveling or keeping late nights with friends but l still enjoy putting them first in everything l do.
Living without my wife makes me breakdown every time and l still see myself as one being on a holiday after four years of losing her, But with time l know l will have a company regardless of my fears.
I wouldn’t have also made it this far without the very massive support of my family members and some very special friends
By Mercy Obot