Widowhood as another stage for greater rebuilding.

Owenjolana Pascaline
Posted January 25, 2021 from Cameroon

On the 25th December 1995 my dad died in a car accident and my mum survived.It was only after 3yrs my mum came to know her husband died that day of the accident because she was rushed to the hospital where she spent 3yrs in the hospital for treatment"a painful acceptance and experience".

During my early age as a teenager, I used to pray never to become a widow because of the pains I watched my mother go through.My mum was sent by her parents for early marriage at the age of 15yrs and lost her husband when she was 30years old and left with six children and now a widow for 26yrs,she did not find life easy as a widow.My mum did not have the second thought of getting married again.As soon as her husband died this woman went through the pains from in-laws,we were sent out of our compound by my paternal uncles.At every challenge my mum will always smile.With her little profession as a teacher she sacrificed her last earnings to give education to her children.She engaged into farming, doing petty business just to get little savings to pay our school fees and feed us.What I admired from my mum is her aspect of communication and dialogue with her children, she is open and she has always told us the truth.At every stage my mum tries to seek help from others,the men will always request for sex or marriage.At some point when this woman was trying to process her husbands documents to get government benefits it became more challenging.As her last child,my mum will open up her pains to me with tears.She will tell me what keeps a woman strong is hard work, Discipline,faithfulness and prayers.In her despair as a widow, the only person my mum know is God.She believes prayers can break all mountains.This woman showed me the importance of hard work and determination.Through her hardwork all her children are educated and independent.My mum as widow has never stopped telling me on how valuable is a woman when she has something doing like handwork or been educated.She has always educated me on the value of skills added to your career as a woman.From her experience,I am moved to empower other vulnerable widows,making them not to lost hope because of their status.I am there to use my mums story to tell other widows not to think that only a man can give them the happiness they need, not only a man can you great.Every happiness comes from within.In my community,widows go through lots of challenges like Denial of resources and opportunities by the stronger sex.I need support on how I can rebuild vulnerable widows most especially those in the crisis areas who have lost their husbands due to war.

Comments 6

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rebecca.tang
Jan 26
Jan 26

Thank you for sharing. This is a very inspirational and meaningful story. I am really impressed. Your mum is a very strong woman. It is really very difficult to raise six children alone.
Stay Strong! Please send my blessing to your mum.
May Almighty God bless you and your family!

Owenjolana Pascaline

Thank you Rebecca.Till date I still wonder where my mum got the courage to accept her husband was no more just like a joke.At this point in time I always try find out how she feels inside.Is there a pain or pains inside, she has never made us to understand this.But I thank God I'm her best friend and companion.

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 30
Jan 30

Dear Owenjola,
The most important work is to start with those who have been the most badly treated, and women "without a man" are so terribly treated in so many ways. "I am there to use my mums story to tell other widows not to think that only a man can give them the happiness they need". You are taking apart this patriarchal system with such clarity an a deep heart. May your road keep opening.

Paulina Nayra
Feb 19
Feb 19

Dear Owenjolana,
What a noble way to honor your mother by helping other widows. Just curious, what does Cameroon law says about rights of widows? Can they inherit the house and other properties when the spouse die? Is the widow considered a co-owner of the house or property which were acquired in the course of the marriage?

In the Philippines, all properties or assets acquired during marriage are considered conjugal, which means husband owns half of the property and wife owns half of property. And the estate or the assets of the deceased spouse will be divided among the heirs including the widow.

It is not fair that the widows will be left out and be forced to leave the conjugal house especially if she has children to take care of.

Good luck on your projects.
Huggs.

Owenjolana Pascaline

Hi Pauline,
Greetings to you.In Cameroon,the law applies but if you are not financially viable to follow up with law then you loss it.And also, sometimes the culture or tradition differs in some traditions, when a man dies his brother automatically takes over the woman.And in such situations the woman does not have the right to argue.Sometimes if she tries to agitate she may go on exile or killed.Indeed there are lots of women and girls in distress who need help.

Beth Lacey
Feb 19
Feb 19

If only more people were like you- who understand the richness of gifts these women have to offer