DIARY OF A WIDOW: THE MOURNING

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Adenike Ladipo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MOURNING

My 41 days mourning started. After the burial, I was told I have to keep a vigil that night, because I must not go to sleep as my husband was laid to rest the same day, I stared at everyone around with questions in my head, I never heard of that before, I began to ask why, the only answer I got was, it is tradition and must be observed….hmmmm, I sighed, all for the dead. I actually wondered, what if I slept, what would have happened, would the man come to pull me away in my sleep, has there been such instance where the widow slept and it was reported she died before morning.

I looked forward to what the vigil would look like, is it praying all night or just sitting and staring. Suddenly in a flash, I remembered the last vigil I had, it was with Mr Ladipo, after we finished praying, we just sat down gisting, catching up on moments we spent together and the children. I couldn’t help but think about it, because each moment represents events in the past. Just unexpectedly, friends started arriving, according to them, they have all come around to sit with me and watch me go through it all as the night ushers me into the mourning proper.

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Indeed that night was of mixed feelings, it seemed a long one, I just sat down in a spot and they did all the talking. we prayed, sang, shared testimonies, talked about others who had been in my situation, every effort was to inject some energy into me and give me some encouragement. But while all this was going on, it was a stormy experience inside my head, it was riddled with uncertainty, confusion was the word. In spite of my gloomy mood, they were able to pull some smiles from me with their jokes. I will agree with the Yoruba adage which says “eniyan laso mi” people are my covering, but mind you, only the good people can cover in the stormy times of our lives. We were there until the wee hours of the morning.

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I was told to select a few clothes to wear through the mourning period as I would not have the need for many and also they would be burnt off after the whole process, I must not step out of the house, the sun must not touch me neither must I be beaten by the rain, no escorting of visitors, not even to the door, I must remain seated all through when receiving visitors. I sat with misty eyes while all these rules, dos and don’ts were reeled out

The day came and went quietly; people were still coming on condolence visit. Where we sat talking, just suddenly I heard a scream from outside my house, I jumped up and on impulse made for the door of the balcony to check what had happened, like a flash, two people ran to stop me from stepping out, one from the back the other blocked the exit. I was initially shocked and a bit agitated, before I could voice out a word, they started telling me how it was a taboo for me to even show up my face outside, it was a big argument we had, but I gave in, lost my steam, and just burst into tears, I felt like a prisoner in my own house!

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I began to think about it all, is this how it’s going to be for the next 41 days, I might just lose my mind in the process. Thank God I love to read, its one hobby I will ever be grateful to God for. I delved into my book shelve and brought out old books, novels and motivational books, in fact anything in print was attractive. I consciously made up my mind to stay positive in spite of it all.