YOUR FAMILY MATTERS witH PASTOR CHANDA
FRIDAY, May 5, 2017: Recently, a friend of mine who was widowed for a number of years remarried.
He told me that before his wife died, during her long battle with the terminal illness that finally claimed her life, she told him whom he
should marry after she died.
The lady that his late wife pointed out to him was Angela. She was a fellow church member who was very close to her.
They had grown up together. So, she was no stranger to both him and his wife—and to their children.
His wife was serious about this matter.
My friend did not do anything about it until a year after his wife died. He ensured that the memorial service was done and a tombstone befitting his wife’s life was put on her grave.
He then called his children aside and told them about their late mother’s wish.
Initially, all the children had mixed feelings. They did not want their mother’s place taken up by someone else.
My friend understood and let the matter lie for another year. One by one the children began to whisper to him that they liked the lady and he should marry her.
The reason was that they were mingling with her at church and could see that she was a good woman and would make a suitable companion to their dad who was now looking rather lost and lonely.
So, they began to urge him to make a move in that direction.
My friend shared this with me. I knew both him and Angela. I had little doubt that she would make a good wife for him.
Well, to cut the long story short, he recently married her at a colourful wedding. I was glad to see my friend grinning from ear to ear again.
It is an interesting phenomenon that a wife should say to her husband, “Marry Angela when I die.” This is not the first time I have heard of this.
It is probably the third time and in each case it is during the period when a wife is terminally ill. What makes a woman say this?
For us Africans, that is almost a taboo.
I am sure there are some women reading this who may be saying, “I would never do such a thing!
In fact, I would want to make my husband swear that he will never remarry. I cannot imagine him in bed with another woman.”
Also, as Africans, we never want to admit that we are about to die until we are dead. Thus, for a wife to start talking about what should happen after she dies is also a taboo.
She is supposed to believe that something will happen that will stop her from sliding to her grave.
Finally, it is the issue of children and property. A new spouse enjoys the inheritance that he or she did not work for.
There are very few friends in life with whom you can entrust your children and your property—and your husband. That is why this situation is so rare.
To begin with, it must be due to a genuine love that a wife has for her husband that will make a woman break her cultural r e s e r v e t o suggest this to him.
She knows his needs and k n o w s t h e f r i e n d w h o c a n c o m e alongside him as a suitable companion.
I t a l s o depends on the kind of relationship that a man and his wife have.
Some men would conclude that perhaps the wife was “setting them up” to see how they would respond.
The thought being that the wife was already suspicious of their interest in that woman.
My friend told me that his wife was not insisting that it should be so.
She merely suggested her friend’s name and gave her reasons why she thought Angela was the right candidate for her replacement. As time went on he was convinced that his late wife was right.
In all the cases I am aware of, it is the dying wife who says this to her surviving husband and not vice versa. Why is that?
I think it is because a man is a proposer. How can you tell a woman who to get married to? What if the man never comes to propose to her?
The question is often asked that when a person marries like this, whose husband will he be in heaven?
In heaven we will be like angels who never marry (Matt. 22:23–33). There will be no rivalry over wives and husbands.
So, feel free to “marry Angela when I die”!
For comments or confidential counsel, write to: reverendchanda@ yahoo.com