When late President Sata was opening Parliament he referred to his wife as “hell” though she had kept him alive. The Members of Parliament busted into laughter at this comment, however, there could be something personal that the President was communicating.
With the unfolding events particularly the desire of Dr. Kaseba for Presidency a few days after his (Sata) burial, a number of questions are being asked as to whether her move is prudent. A number of people have looked at the issue from different point of view. Different interpretations of cultural values have been made by various women interests groups. Generally those who have spoken in public have given excuses ranging from evolution of culture, women rights, saving the PF party, and so on and so forth.
Sata’s first cousin, Emma Chibesakunda who has been acting as the mouth piece of Dr. Kaseba (she is the one that read a farewell letter of Dr. Kaseba at the funeral) said the following:
“Let the Zambian people judge her for the decision. If she fails to be elected, that is up to the Zambian people. She wants to hold the family together, she wants to hold the nation together. She has been crying terribly, even just a few minutes ago she was crying and she will not stop, she will mourn her husband forever. You people need to stop abusing her. No one has the right to abuse her. She suffered a lot with her husband to build that party and she has been forced to stand up and say I can’t see the things that we built with my husband be torn to pieces,” she said.
“When one member of the family dies, the family members after they have buried come together to know how their member of the family died. This is what we call isambo lyamfwa and the wife is asked to explain how the death came about. One of the things produced during the ceremony is the clothes of the deceased. If the person who died is an elderly person, there is another step that we take known as ukupyanika. There is no specific period to do this. In those days we used to delay isambo lyamfwa but nowadays, we do it immediately after we bury because of so many deaths occurring in our families.” (http://www.postzambia.com/news.php?id=4122#sthash.42GvRiq9.dpuf)
The reasons being advanced don’t seem convincing in any way. In fact most of these women are even contradicting the statements and counsel they have given in the past.
Death is one of the most devastating events that we all go through. Of course this differs from one person to another and the relationship to the deceased. The closer you are to the person who has died the more scourging it is to deal with death. It may be easier to deal with the death of a distant acquaintance than if a close and loved one dies.
The death of a spouse can be the most devastating event especially if you have lived together for some time, have children and love each other.
Psychologists have said that the loss of a spouse is one of the most serious threats to health, well-being, and productivity that most people encounter during their lives (see M. S. Stroebe, Hansson, Stroebe, & Schut, 2001b, for a review), although there is considerable variability in responses to loss (e.g., Bonanno et al., 2002).
Even if the death of your spouse was expected, you go through a period of intense shock, grief, and loss. Often, your body manifests the physical symptoms of anxiety, depression or fear. According to Dr. Elizabeth Harper Neeld of Legacy Connect, it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health after the death of a spouse. A person grieving may experience the following:
An increase in adrenaline is one of the characteristics of the “fight or flight” response to a crisis, reports Dr. Elizabeth Harper Neeld in her article “Physical Stress of grieving”, and the loss of your spouse can provoke this type of panic. This type of adrenaline spike can cause accelerated heartbeat; a tingling feeling in the fingers or lips; and involuntary shakiness of the limbs, hands or entire body. These symptoms can be very disturbing and uncomfortable to the sufferer and are difficult to resolve because there is no real physical “threat” to be confronted or avoided.
Another common biological manifestation of grief and loss is physical exhaustion, reports Funeral Plan. Exhaustion may be the result either of insomnia, which is a very frequent occurrence among grieving spouses, or depression. You may find that you’re sleeping too much and still very tired throughout the day. It may be that this symptom will pass, or you may benefit from an antidepressant medication.
According to Dr. Elizabeth Harper Neeld in her article “Physical Stress of Grieving,” issues with eating as well as other digestive problems can emerge after the death of a spouse. A lack of appetite is quite common among those adjusting to a loss, and you may also experience some problems digesting food you do manage to eat. Some of these digestive problems may include trouble swallowing due to a constricted esophagus, nervous stomach, ulcers, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea.
One of the most common emotional effects of grief doesn’t feel particularly “emotional” at all, reports Funeral Plan. Particularly in the beginning stages of grief, you may feel detached from your life, as though in a dreamlike state. This feeling results from the shock of your grief. The amount of time a person stays in this numb phase varies by individual. Your body and mind are reacting to protect you, since assimilating the full reality of your loss at once would be too painful.
Sadness is the most common emotion associated with death, but anger is another frequent feeling that is not often talked about. You may irrationally become angry at your spouse for “abandoning” you, or you may be angry with yourself for ways in which you disappointed your spouse in life. All of this is normal and natural, but if you find that you are having trouble getting past your feelings of anger, you may benefit from talking to a therapist.
Why do grieving people go through the above emotional and physical stress?
One reason why the loss of a spouse can have such a powerful impact on well-being is that it can deprive the bereaved person’s life of meaning. They fail to make sense of the event or find value or benefit in the experience.
The bereaved individuals often feel a bond with the deceased that can continue for decades (e.g., Shaver & Tancredy, 2001). This continuing sense of connection does not necessarily indicate poor adjustment to loss but a normal reaction to loss (Bonanno, Wortman, & Nesse, 2004; Klass, Silverman, & Nickman, 1996). The bereaved hold many affectively charged representations of the lost spouse and of the spouse in interaction with the self. A priming of one of these memories activates emotions that are difficult to ignore hence the physical and emotional manifestation of grief.
Essentially grieving is partly a matter of bumping up against these thoughts and feelings over a period of months or years and acknowledging both their affective charge and their inadequacy as representations of current reality (Shaver & Tancredy, 2001, p. 72).
How long does it take to grief?
The time to grief varies among different people depending on who has died, but certainly with a spouse who was loved, it usually takes longer. Psychologists who have done some studies have come up with different results but mostly it is not less than six months.
However it has also been revealed that the time can be very short if the spouse was not loved or they had difficulties such that the surviving spouse find the death of the deceased an chance to get on with life. A bereaved may also quickly move on with life if the death of the spouse is not actually a loss but a gain or an opportunity to benefit something.
Is Dr. Kaseba grieving or benefiting out of Sata’s death?
This is the answer you have to give depending on your observations.