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How not to mourn the dead-

Death is something that is inevitable and it is like rain that is bound to fall on every rooftop. The death of a spouse is…

Death is something that is inevitable and it is like rain that is bound to fall on every rooftop. The death of a spouse is something that is dreaded especially among women because when it happens it is one that is difficult to overcome for life to continue as normal. Widowhood is one situation that demands support from everyone around the widow both known and unknown.

But all respect and courtesy seems to have thrown out the window. Last week and a week before that was one trying moment for the former first lady. From a wife she suddenly became a widow and it did not just stop there as she was tongue lashed and bashed by different categories of people. And many began to wonder where the sense of sympathy and pity of Nigerians disappeared to.

With the loss of a spouse, widows always find themselves surrounded by friends and family, who will offer well-intentioned support, love, and offers of much-needed practical help or advice. However  in the midst of these caring friends and family, the one left behind, often feel just  alone. Left to cope alone, to grieve alone, to make important decisions alone. Even with those she loves and trusts surrounding her and sharing in her grief, the widow alone, experiences the loss of a long-time soul mate and best friend; the other half that along with her once made a whole. Then imagine a circumstance where she is mouth washed and even blamed for the cause of her husband’s death.  This is definitely a situation of a double tragedy for the widow.

 The widow needs to be consoled and given encouragement to be able to move ahead in life. This cannot be achieved if nasty comments are made of the late spouse without her feelings been put into consideration. For example this quoted statement could be very painful and only put the widow into a more traumatic period. “There is an adage that says ‘the evil that men do lives after them’ but in the case of the late president and all those involved, the evil they committed will continue to hunt them in their graves and in their various homes, Amen. Those alive will continue to live long and see Nigeria grow to an enviable height, God Bless Nigeria”, Oluchi Diaku.

One wonders if such people have never been thought not to speak ill of the dead. The death of even an enemy is never to be rejoiced. Everyone has a good and bad side but when death befalls one, the best we could do is to acknowledge their good sides and pray for the repose of their souls and forgiveness of their sins. This singular act will go a long way in paving a new beginning for the widow, who needs all the shoulders to lean and cry on.

“Not to speak ill of the dead is something that has been drummed into me since childhood by my elders so I tend to refrain from passing any negative comment when it comes to people who have passed on and who I didn’t quite take to in life. As already pointed out by others, the deceased cares not what is said of their name, after all they are gone but it’s their loved ones who remain and I see no reason to upset them by rubbishing a memory they will cling to, to make life meaningful to them. I won’t start talking them up or claiming a greatness they never possessed of course! I mean what’s the point in being a hypocrite? Someone won’t suddenly gain my respect because he or she is dead. It’s far from that. So when it comes to referring to the dead I try to be brief and stick to the idea that if I can’t say something nice, then it is better not say anything at all” says Amina Ahmed, an Islamic scholar.

It is bad to speak ill of the dead; if we cannot say nice things about who has pass on, then it is better not to say anything at all. They are not there to defend themselves and more over, your comments could be in several ways offensive to the relatives and friends of the deceased.

Come to think of it, there is a fine line between respect (most times not for the deceased) but for those still alive whom our words might have a negative impact on. If only we could put ourselves in the shoes of the bereaved, only then could we understand the impact of our negative words and comments about the dead.

Life can never be the same after the death of a husband but with the help, support and encouragement from people near and far, the mother hen can definitely find comfort in the new life destiny throws her way! This can only start with me and you by helping in treasuring the memories she has left to keep her going rather than speaking ill of her dead spouse!

 

 


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