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.
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.
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.