Gospel singer shares first ‘difficult’ year after passing of her loved one

DAR ES SALAAM: On July 7, 2020, Jennifer Mgendi, Tanzania’s popular gospel singer, changed her status from ‘Mrs’ to ‘Ms’ following the passing of her beloved husband, Dr. Job Chaula. Recounting the four years since her loss, the gospel singer pledged to send encouragement messages to all fellow widowed women whenever she commemorates the death of her husband.

She made the statement through her Facebook page ‘Jennifer Mgendi Mwimbaji,’ noting that the first year of widowhood is the most challenging period for women. It’s a time marked by answering children’s questions, managing bills, and potentially facing disputes with some family members from the husband’s side.

“The first year is very difficult for many. You still don’t believe what happened, you still haven’t fully accepted it. Things have suddenly changed, and you were accustomed to him handling bills, taxes, fees, and overseeing family projects like construction. Now, all that responsibility falls on you,” she expressed.

“To some families, this period brings conflicts with the husband’s relatives over property or accusations of not taking good care of the deceased. Court issues may arise, and you may even discover other children born outside wedlock. All of this causes emotional exhaustion.”

Offering advice for a speedy recovery, she emphasized the importance of consistent prayer, resilience in the face of scrutiny, self-care, and listening to uplifting music. “Music is medicine, but avoids sad songs. Listen to worship songs that will lift your spirit. TikTok is also a helpful platform for healing; it helped me a lot,” she added.

Furthermore, she advised widows against making significant decisions during the first year of their loss, as they may later regret them. Instead, she recommended spending time outdoors in the morning sun to alleviate depression.

“It’s essential to seek advice from someone during moments of sadness, anger, and guilt. Your relationships will change, and while some married friends may drift away, God will bring new friendships. Engage in activities until you feel like yourself again,” she advised.

Additionally, she encouraged widows not to isolate themselves but to have a close friend or relative for companionship.

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