Original Research

The process of mourning for Eswatini widowers: A pastoral concern

Dalcy Dlamini, Maake J. Masango
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6260 | © 2021 Dalcy Dlamini, Maake J. Masango | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2020 | Published: 05 July 2021

About the author(s)

Dalcy Dlamini, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Maake J. Masango, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Eswatini custom and church traditions indirectly and directly affect the way widowers handle their mourning period, after the demise of their better halves. Instead of mourning their loss of spouses for their spiritual, emotional, social and financial healing, widowers rush to remarry. This has resulted in dysfunctional marriages, ill health, financial crisis and sometimes death. This article has analysed the impact of the Eswatini custom and church traditions on widowers as emanating from the ‘throne’. The aim of this article therefore is to unpack some of the struggles faced by widowers, which often impacts them on their journey of life as they seek to relive life with another wife. It is in this regard that Nick Pollard’s method of positive deconstruction was used to enter the space of the widowers. Charles Gerkin’s shepherding model was incorporated in order to be able to journey with the troubled souls. The process will in turn heal them as they will be taught about the importance of mourning before remarrying.

Contribution: Widowers in Eswatini are the most vulnerable yet neglected in the kingdom of Eswatini. Patriarchy plays a major role, and in this case, it is men versus men power. Eswatini’s cultural practices and church practices have a major impact on widowers and may even shorten their lifespan.


Keywords

royalty; culture; patriarchy; monarch; widowhood; mourning

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