Life has come to a standstill for the widow and five children of a deceased man, Mr Michael Adotei Pappoe, following his death three years ago.
He was 43 years old.
According to some Ghanaian traditions, a widow cannot engage in any economic activity within a year after her husband is buried until certain rituals are performed.
However, since Diana Quarcoo’s husband has not been buried and she has not performed the widowhood rites as tradition demands, she has been unable to engage in any economic activity to enable her to cater for her children.
Narrating the incident to Bishop Abraham Aidoo on Family Zone on Class91.3 FM on Saturday, 15 June 2019, the widow said: “I was living with my husband when he fell ill and was admitted to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. I informed his family but they refused to come and see him, none of them came to visit him. He was discharged and we were asked to come back for a review but due to lack of funds, we couldn’t go.
“After a month, the illness started again and this time, I went to his family to ask for assistance to take him to the hospital but they did not assist, so, I took him to their family house at Russia when it became serious, where he died one night at 2 a.m.
“I called his relatives to come and see him, they came and two of his brothers got a taxi and transported the corpse to the Korle Bu mortuary around 6 a.m. My kids and I left to go back to my family to announce the death of my husband to them. We kept following up to find out from his family what the arrangements were regarding his burial and funeral but there was no response, as they said they did not have the money involved in paying for the morgue fees and his funeral and he has still not been buried.”
According to Madam Quarcoo, since it has been a couple of years since the death of her husband, she is not even sure if the corpse is still at the morgue and since the widowhood rites have not been performed for her, she has not been able to work and she does not know the way forward for her children and herself.
“We got assistance from SCEF and I found a job to take care of an elderly person but had to stop. Life has been difficult for us; I can’t tell my left from my right. I can’t do anything.”
Madam Quarcoo’s eldest son has had to repeat JHS 3 twice due to lack of funds.
The incident has been reported to the police, who have referred the woman back to the family of her deceased husband to report back to them if she does not get any information.