Good Grief!

*How Covid-19 widows found healing in collective grief

*Support group transforms sorrow into solidarity

Since the advent of the pandemic, 2 534 deaths have been recorded in Botswana to date.

Many of those lives were claimed by the highly contagious Delta variant during the second and third quarter of 2021.

It is in that period that many of us observed that it was mostly men who were perishing in large numbers.

And while death is in every sense devastating, losing a spouse teaches one that “grieving is a lonely experience,” says Gorata Moshaga, founding member of Young Widows in Christ, who speaks to Voice Woman about the support group she founded 5 years back. The 39-year-old lost her husband in 2016 at the tender age of 33.

“We married young at 22 and 23 years. He was a very loving, attentive husband; a true romantic. We were inseparable, truly committed to each other; perhaps that’s partly the reason we took our time to start a family.”

The Francistown-based widow explains that her husband’s sudden demise left her feeling alone in her grief.

But it was not until she opened up on social media that she realised that she wasn’t the only one experiencing intense sorrow.

“When I lost my husband, I felt that my immediate family couldn’t exactly understand my pain. So, one day I happened to share my story of grief, and journey towards healing, on Facebook. Unaware, I was touching lives.”

Birthed early 2017, the support group’s focus and message was that of hope and optimism, “that whatever you’re going through, you’re not a victim but a victor”.

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