final thought

From the African Child Trust website I’ve borrowed the poem below, written by a Zambian widow in 2002. It speaks poignantly to the despair felt by so many widows until an empowering agency finds them and offers them hope. This reads like a modern-day Psalm of Lament.

Is it a sin to be a widow?

Oh Lord, what have I done to deserve this?

What unforgivable sin have I committed?

Death you are cruel and heartless.

You have taken away my husband, the father of my children.

Now I’m called a widow and my children are called orphans, the names we didn’t have before.


Here I am without a husband and helper who died just because death is a must.

I’m so lonely and depressed while other women are filled with laughter.

With all these children to look after, I’m desperate.

I have to send them to school.

I have to feed and clothe them.

But I have no money and everything I was left with was grabbed by my husband’s relatives.

Now I am hopeless and I have become a destitute.

Is it a sin to be a widow?

My friends have deserted me.

My relatives have forsaken me.

I’m avoided like one with AIDS or leprosy.

Oh Lord, why Lord, why?

Have mercy on me Lord.

Elderly widow in India (Shutterstock)

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