By Dr Masimba Mavaza | With the way life has become in Zimbabwe single parents bear the brunt. They have to do more to give their children a semblance of decency.
In fairness, the challenges of caring for kids alone are innumerable. But there are some hardships unique to the individual, and others that are universal for all single mothers.
Almost nine years ago Pretty Kavhiya Chiveso lost her husband to an accident. The husband who was an inspector in the police died in the freak accident while on duty in Bulawayo.
Pretty was left all alone with three toddlers to look after. Life became cruel so did some family members mostly on the husband’s side.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police was so caring and we really have to acknowledge the force for looking after their own’s family. She was allowed to stay in the Police accommodation and indeed this was helpful. But the funds from her work which the police gave her was not enough so she had to complement her salary with buying and selling. The most common life events that lead to single parenthood is death, this upsets more than just your marital status. They upset your financial balance, and leave one adult shouldering a load that is typically carried by two. Even if you’re a single adoptive parent and chose the challenge of going it alone, it’s still tough. Single moms often hang in limbo waiting for child support that never arrives or paying attorneys to pursue what should be paid. There always seems to be a little less in the checking account than what your kids need.
Pretty controlled her own decisions and got organised and intentional about how you handle her money to lessen the stress. Despite the absence of her husband Pretty realised What her children needed most her love which she had in abundance. Pretty Chiveso Lavished them with that, and lay down the guilt of not being able to give them every material thing they desire.
Still above the love she had to maintain their standard of living not to depart widely from how it happened to be while the father was still alive. She started crossing into Zambia to supplement her salary and keep her children in best schools possible. She became isolated.
Social Isolation is one of the single mothers struggles that’s more layered. Single mothers sometimes feel trapped underneath a mountain of responsibility that never allows them to invest in friendships, much less find another companion for life. Working single moms say the guilt of leaving the kids in the evening to do something just for yourself is crushing. Add to that the cost of hiring a sitter and getting out of the house for adult interaction seems almost impossible.
You need friendships and encouragement, so this isn’t a frivolous single mom struggle. This is the challenge Pretty had to face.
Besides social hardships, parenting is hard. There are lots of gray areas and the game changes daily as your children grow. For married parents, there’s at least another adult to talk things out with and to share the burden of making tough decisions. Pretty bore the weight of all of those tough calls alone—where to go to school, which friends are OK, or when a child is mature enough for a new privilege or responsibility. The emotional burden did wear Pretty down in a hurry.
Sometime Pretty will be so close to surrender. Sometimes she blamed herself.
Of all the single mom struggles, this one might be the hardest to fight against. Is there any end to the guilt a single parent feels? If you know that your decisions (some of which you may regret) contributed to your current family status, it’s especially present. There’s guilt about the financial things you can’t provide, guilt about the time you spend away from the kids, guilt about the things you just can’t do because of your situation. Regardless of how your children became the kids of a single parent, you worry daily about the effect that it’s having on them and feel responsible.
Fatigue wore Pretty down a lot.
Let’s face it: You’re doing alone what was designed to be a two-person job. The fact that you often feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually worn out is not just your imagination. But because your kids depend on you, you can’t afford to push yourself past a certain point. You must take care of yourself and your health in order to be there for them. But Pretty went one step too far.
On the 8th of July 2022 pretty set to go to Zambia to buy some goods for resale. She had to do it for her family.
Pretty got a lift from a Zambian truck driver. She never knew that was going to be her last trip to Zambia. She never even suspected that death was lurking in the shadows of hard work. That was a fateful trip and the one which took Pretty and all what she stood for.
Just after Koroi an area called Wafawafa the truck burst into a ball of fire.
Pretty died a painful death. The fire consumed her and all her documents no body knew what really happened.
A light which tore the darkness in lives of many was switched off.
Sorrow is an emotion of great sadness associated with loss or bereavement. Sorrow is sadness associated with some happenings from some disappointment that causes great unhappiness. The state of being sad. Feeling grief is the state Pretty plunged all of us. It is still unbelievable that she is no more. Crying could not ease the pain the heart tries to quench.
When a loved one or family member dies, feelings of sadness and sorrow can seem overwhelming. You recognize that having those feelings is natural but may feel as though you can only handle so much of it. You know you want to stop crying. You know you want your heart to heal, but healing isn’t an easy task. There is no treatment for your heart but Pretty. She is gone reduced to a hip of burnt flesh. She could not be recognised DNA testing had to be used. Pretty.
Bereavement And Grief can never be something we can get used to. In our hearts, we all know that death is a part of life. In fact, death gives meaning to our existence because it reminds us how precious life is. But death is never easy to accept.
The loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and causes a major emotional crisis. After the death of someone you love, you experience bereavement, which literally means “to be deprived by death.” The Chiveso and Kavhiya families are in great moaning their heroine has been taken away in the most cruel manner. One can not begin to imagine.
When a death takes place, you may experience a wide range of emotions, even when the death is expected. There is a feeling of an initial stage of numbness after first learning of a death.
Pretty has taken words from my mouth. Who knew that this would happen. This is more than painful.
Grief is a response to a loss, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, and philosophical dimensions. Grieving is intense sorrow caused by loss of a loved one, especially by death. Pretty has left everybody numb.
Bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.
Losing a loved one or family members is hard for many reasons. The Kavhiya and Chiveso families Of course, will miss Pretty since they were once a part of her reality, or her day-to-day routine. Now that she is gone, they have to adjust to a life without them. There may be things they can’t imagine doing without her,or places they can’t imagine going without Pretty. Her Children oh my God. They have to live alone now that she is gone. They may have to take care of business that they haven’t done or ever before, in some cases. To make matters even more complicated, not only that they are facing similar and many other practical life changes, but also finding themselves dealing with feelings of sadness and sorrow. It is not easy to cope after a loved one dies. You will mourn and grieve. Mourning is the natural process you go through to accept a major loss.
The wounds left by Pretty won’t seem to heal, this pain is just too real.
There’s just too much that time cannot erase, when I cry who will wipe away all of my tears,
When I scream, I’d fight away all of my fears. There were times the family would hold hand through all of these years.
But you still have all of me.
Pretty used to captivate those around her by her resonating light
Now, they are bound by the life left behind, life of mourning.
These wounds won’t seem to heal, this pain is just too real.
There’s just too much that time cannot erase.
During these grieving times I will join the family to thank all those who helped in searching for Pretty.
My greatest thanks to the dedication and commitment of the police. In particular Assistant Commissioner Nyathi for his assistance in searching for Pretty May God bless Asscom Nyathi. Let me acknowledge the efforts help and counselling of Inspector Chikupo , Rtd Inspector Matsengarwodzi without him we will not have moved anyway Elder Nhlahla Mahlangu the prayerful brother and colleague proffessor E Kadembo the Kavhiya family Maria and Promise Kavhiya. The bravery of Gibbon Chiveso and Gashi and Genius may God comfort you.
Baba Kavhiya sekuru Cloud and all those have not mentioned may God bless you. The dead can not hear but Pretty Fare Thee Well. Till we meet again.