Dealing with the loss of a husband especially after only a few years of marriage can be a traumatic period for any woman.
Two years after the untimely death of popular gospel artist and reverend, Nkomfa Deon Mkabile, his widow has penned a book about how difficult life is without him.
Unathi Mkabile says the death of her husband in 2019 robbed her of a loving partner and the pillar of her strength.
Her book Umhlolokazi Olidlolo – The Barren Widow, is set to be released later this month.
In the book Ms Mkabile tackles dealing with victimisation from her in-laws, loneliness and health issues.
Ms Mkabile told Vukani this week that said sharing her journey with the world will expose the unpleasant treatment and abuse women succumb to when they fail to live according to the script presented by the society.
“The book brings hope and heals those who are currently experiencing what I’ve been through,” she said. Her book will liberate many barren women from feeling less of a woman, said Ms Mkabile.
“Widows will without a doubt relate and gain strength from my book.”
She said since the passing of her husband it’s been hard for her to move on.
“I have been derided, jeered at and topped the agenda of gossip rings, all because I am barren.
“People have judged me. They held a script at me. A script crafted by society and presented to me as a stencil by which I had to live my life. When my life did not conform to that script, they treated me as if I was a lesser human being”, Ms Mkabile said fighting back tears.
There were moments, she said, when she believed the gossip. But she said she learned to pick up the broken pieces and glue them together with self-love, confidence, hope and faith.
Ms Mkabile said on the day she tossed a handful of soil on her husband’s coffin, a part of her remained there.
“I could not think beyond the funeral service. I was numb, lost and hurt. I felt rejected and unloved. I wished I had been buried with him,” she said.
Throughout her painful journey, she said, friends and family supported her.
“They went out of their way to soothe and comfort me. But the void was too large. I shed a lot of weight. I could not eat. I cried constantly and would sit in front of the TV for hours on end. I shut out a lot of people who tried to reach out to me. There were days I found myself angry at Nkomfa for leaving me.”
She kept blaming herself for the fact that her marriage did not produce any children. “I was unable to have his children. The new reality impaired my judgment and perception of the world.”
But engaging deeply in prayer has granted her strength, she said.
Her advice to widows going through similar pain: “I don’t have all the answers for what you may be going through. But I can tell you that there is still love and splendour in the face of hardship. Love yourself: You are the most important gift that God has given you.”