Till death do us part – these were the words my husband and I exchanged on our colourful wedding day which would mark the beginning of a life I dreamed of. I was officially a wife and couldn’t wait to start living my best married life. However, as fate would have it, I would be a widow just a few years later.
When I married Chris, I knew he was wild. In fact, I loved that about him. He was fearless and was always the first to try a challenge. So, when he came home riding a motorcycle, I wasn’t surprised. He had always wanted one and thought it was a good time to buy one since we were still young. While most people were worried due to the high death rate for motorcycle riders, I wasn’t. We used to joke that Chris couldn’t die. He had been in three near-death experiences and escaped with only scars to tell his story.
“You know I‘ve fallen from the fourth floor of an apartment.” He told me when we were still dating. “I had a spinal injury and couldn’t walk for a month.” He continued and then proceeded to show me a scar on his back where the doctors operated.
I touched the scar and felt tears running down my face.
“Why do you play with your life like this?”
“Don’t worry, my love. God can’t let me die.”
As he told me his life stories, I started to believe that indeed, God couldn’t let him die. I became more at ease with his dangerous lifestyle and after some time, it didn’t bother me as much.
The years went by and Chris continued to explore his daredevil side. However, when we got married I hoped he would slow down since he was someone’s husband and we were a family now. I was wrong. In fact, he wanted to do more.
“Look at this bike, babe.” He said showing me the picture on his phone.
“I know. I really want it.”
“Well, we should be saving for a car.”
“We’ll do that later. We’re still young, babe.”
It was pointless trying to convince him otherwise. I knew he wouldn’t listen and once he made up his mind, he was going to do it. The next day, he showed up with a bright yellow sports bike. The smile he had on his face made me forget that he had just used up half of our savings.
Riding became a big part of his life. It was like the missing puzzle piece had been found and he even reduced his other habits like drinking and partying. I noticed a positive change in him which made me feel more secure in our marriage.
Within a year, we had saved enough to buy a car. However, Chris still kept his bike.
“The car is for you. I’ll keep using my bike.”
By now, it had been his daily mode of transport. He went to work with it, ran small errands with it, and even went on road trips with it. So far, everything had worked out well but on one fateful day, I got a call from his friend asking me to go to the hospital. I immediately knew Chris had been in an accident with his bike but nothing prepared me for the news I received when I got to the hospital.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Your husband passed away on the spot after colliding with a bus.” One of the doctors informed me.
Just like that, I was a widow. I was only 29 years old and he was about to turn 30. In fact, we were planning his surprise birthday party when the incident happened. Most of my friends weren’t even married yet but I was a widow.
I was numb for a long time. I would go for days without eating and it would take the intervention of my mother for me to eat. Life didn’t seem worth living but on the other hand, all my friends were happily going about their lives. Some even tried to set me up on dates a few months after my husband passed.
“This guy is amazing. He’s a bank manager, with a good car…”
“My husband bought me a good car.”
“Babe, you have to move on. You’re only 29. Just give this guy a chance.”
“Does he know I’m a widow?”
“No. And let’s keep it that way. Don’t blow your chances.”
I agreed to go on the date just to get my friend off my case. When I got there, the guy indeed lived up to the hype. They always did. My friend had good taste in men. The guy almost made me forget about all I had been through the last few months. However, nothing compared to the intimate moments I shared with my husband. I kept getting flashbacks of random conversations we had. Nothing much happened after the date. I ghosted him and that was the end of that.
I went on several other dates with the same result. Finally, I realized that I wasn’t ready for a long-term relationship after my husband’s passing. It almost felt like I was cheating on him and even a year after his death, I still haven’t had any kind of relationship with another man. Most of them are scared away by my widow status or I ghost them.
My mum suggested that I go for counseling or seek advice from other young widows. As much as she loved my husband, she wanted me to move on since I didn’t have any children and she was worried that I wouldn’t fall in love with another man again.
At first, I resisted but things kept getting worse. I started counselling sessions after a recommendation from a friend who was also a young widow and things are slowly changing. However, I’m still not ready to be in a long-term relationship and it might take a while before I get into one. I have been able to go on dates and engage with other men though nothing further has happened so far. I feel hopeful but for now, I know I don’t want any serious relationships.
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