Widower on coping with tragedy months after wedding

The couple had dreams that were tragically cut short. Photos: Courtesy

Joseph Caleb Uwagaba’s photo sitting in church across his late wife’s casket made rounds on WhatsApp statuses two years ago. 

The events that led to that fateful day would be truly hard to comprehend for anyone in his shoes.

 

Uwagaba had married the love of his life a few months earlier, sadly, she fell sick right after the wedding and never managed to get back on her feet.

 

 

Uwagaba with his wife, Sabine

They had planned for a life together; excited about the future just like all newlyweds, but there she was, lying lifeless right in front of him. What was he to make of the life that lay ahead of him?

A sudden turn of events 

Uwagaba, an author and events manager, met his late wife, Sabine Mucyo in church in 2015. He remembers meeting her when she had just come back from India where she was pursuing her studies, and it wasn’t long before they started dating.

He recalls a life that was full of joy for all the years they were together as a couple, revealing that they had so many dreams, all of which were cut short by the unfortunate turn of events.

“My life with Sabine before marriage was full of joy. We were living a happy life as a couple, we envisioned a happy family for ourselves and this is what we planned for every day and every time we were together,” he narrates.

They eventually tied the knot in a lovely ceremony, this was in March 2018.

After their wedding, however, things took an unexpected turn. In a matter of weeks, his wife fell sick and was admitted in the hospital. Days turned into weeks and months, but her health continued deteriorating — she had Lupus, an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.

Uwagaba says the time his late wife was at the hospital was one of the hardest moments of his life.

“My wife was sick for a long time. During this period, I worked hard so that she would not miss a thing. I couldn’t sleep or eat, we both were in a tough situation, and it affected us so much, sincerely speaking.”

The day she died was not only gloomy but hazy too for Uwagaba, this was in October 2018.

“It was unexpected, unacceptable because not for once had I ever thought of Sabine and I being separated by death in such a way, but I had to accept it because it had happened,” he recounts. 

A legacy unfinished 

“We saw a good family for the both of us; having kids and serving our country. But in her absence, our dreams died too and so for now I am waiting for what the future holds,” Uwagaba says.

The days after his wife’s death were mostly hopeless as he recalls falling into deep depression. 

Uwagaba wrote a book  ‘A hundred days in marriage’ to share his story with the world. Photos: Courtesy

“I tried so hard to deal with this pain, so many people helped me but it wasn’t easy. I felt hopeless and thought I was going crazy. The world became so small for me because I believe any man’s dreams are centred on his wife. You can do and achieve anything when you have a partner who compliments you. Sabine’s death completely changed my life and dreams.”

For years, Uwagaba has fought so hard to fix his broken heart — he took time to self-reflect, he also read stories about those who faced a similar situation and this, he says, helped him understand that he wasn’t alone. 

And recently, as a way of sharing his story and fulfilling his late wife’s dream, he published a book ‘A hundred days in marriage’, where he shares a glimpse of a life he fought for and the hope that mends his broken heart. 

In his book, he shares details from the first day they met, their honeymoon, their battle and the unexpected wins. 

“It’s the story of the unexceptional wife I wished for and had but not for long, a legacy started but didn’t finish, and my dreams to make every moment known and a fulfilment of a promise I made to her of writing about our love and sharing it with the world. I am so proud that I have managed to fulfil this dream as a husband to late Sabine, I strongly believe that now she is resting in peace,” he says.

He advises those who are struggling with the pain of losing a spouse to always think twice before making any decisions, and that they have to love themselves and move on from the past.

“We have to do this because the country needs us and it needs us alive. We, therefore, have to be strong, so we have to make every effort to heal.”

Uwagaba now stays in Poland, where he went for his second Master’s programme in International Business and Logistics. 

He still has dreams for a happy family and also wants to serve his country and explore more about the realities of life through writing.  

“I will continue writing more articles and books, I want to help people who are faced with tough situations through coaching and seminars, though I do this even now. I coach people financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.”

dmbabazi@newtimesrwanda.com

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