Good day Coach, I am a 64-year- old man who has just lost a partner. My partner, unmarried, had suffered a lot, enduring an incurable disease of cancer. It has been the toughest four years of my life since I was living in the hospital all the time during her admissions.

I have four children with her and we have been living together for the past 28 years. I have never got to meet all her children from her previous marriage and I learnt that they are also four in total. I only know her third born child since she has once lived with us while studying at the University in Gaborone. I have never ill-treated the child in any manner but has always perceived her as my own. Ever since the sickness overtook their mother, I tried all I possibly could to unite with her family so that they are all aligned with what was going on. I dug all I could and eventually found her brother, the uncle to her children, and we started looking after the sister together very well. As a couple, my partner and I decided to solicit funeral insurance covers so that in the event one of us passes on, we do not struggle nor become anyone’s burden. My partner stopped working about four years ago and did not have any source of income to even pay her premiums but it became my duty and priority. As unmarried as we were, she had to have her own while I had mine, both running parallel.

Over and above that, we both accumulated household goods; the furniture and other stuff and I admit, she purchased the house we lived in and it was in her names. Unfortunately, she succumbed to death and I expected full cooperation from her family but I never tasted any of it. The brother, whom I thought was in sync with me, became rebellious against me. He took my sister’s funeral policy documents and kicked my children and I from the house we worked hard for with my partner. We were so excluded from the funeral arrangements and were not allowed to even enter their yard at their village in order to bury our loved one because they believe I have bewitched their sibling so I could benefit from the death. The funeral has been postponed due to these differences and I do not know what to do anymore. The pain is growing daily and I feel like I am losing myself. Please advise me Coach. Yours, Anonymous Dear Anonymous, Before anything else, I wish to relay my condolences to you and your loved ones. It is not a pleasant phase to go through to lose a loved one, especially when you have bonded with them for so many years. It is unfortunate how other people behave towards the unmarried couples during such times. I cannot say wholly that it is grief that is driving them but rather it is an act of selfishness and greed that puts them in such a cunning manner. You have done so well by searching for them when your partner started suffering from her illness and made sure that they become part of the journey that led her to death.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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