Some things are hard to believe when they happen. For instance, a woman might be denied the opportunity to mourn her husband because the family suspects her of killing him. How do the two parties deal with this situation? Mwereti Kanjo asks.Ã‚Â
InÃ‚Â the African culture, it is said when you are marrying a man, you are also marrying into his family.
Sometimes, though, the manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relatives might become too involved in the coupleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s affairs. There have been cases where, during the funeral, akuchimuna (the manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relatives) have asked a wife not to attend her own husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s funeral because she is believed to have had a hand in his death.
They might even tell her not to cry. They might say she is shedding crocodile tears because according to the family, the wife never loved her husband.
But is this the way to handle the situation, even in a case where the husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s family has evidence of absence of love and affection in a family?
Effie Somanje, a family counsellor, says it is important for the husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relatives to remember that they too married into a different family. They must put themselves in the shoes of this woman and imagine how she should be feeling.
She points out that this sort of thing happens a lot within rich families because of greed on the part of the husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s relatives. They look at the husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wealth and think that they will walk away with part of it.
However, an opportunity must be given to the bereaved wife to pay her last respects and the rest of the issues must be discussed after the funeral service.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is very rare for this to happen in a family where the husband had nothing.Ã‚Â However, I am not saying there are no evil people out there, both men and women, who would want to kill their spouse for self gain.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The woman must look at the situation because it all depends where the service will take place. If the burial is at the village of the deceased and the family is stopping you from going, take your own transport and food. Be a total stranger there to avoid fights and when you pay your last respects leave, go back home where you can grieve peacefully,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Somanje.
Advising on the same, Regina Phanga, also a family counsellor, says in the first place, it is best to avoid the situation. She says this can be triggered by comments that a person will make about his spouse when he visits relatives. Because of such negative comments, when a husband dies suddenly, the family is quick to question the love of the woman.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“People build anger within their relatives towards the spouse without knowing it. We must be careful with what we say. Secondly, a woman must stay at the bedside of her husband no matter what. This will remove any doubts that people had. Should he die, they will remember the love that you shared and give you the respect that you deserve as a wife,Ã¢â‚¬Â she says.