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Life After Emotional Death

By Mwendalubi Simamba

No matter how much you try to imagine it, you never know what it is like to be married until you walk down the aisle and say, “I do.” Likewise, you never truly know what it is like to get divorced until you go through it.

Divorce is the hardest thing that I have ever gone through in my life. It is not an overstatement to say that it crushed my spirit. I had hoped that this relationship would last a lifetime, but it ended not long after it began, and it left me feeling inadequate as a woman. Throughout my separation, I wondered why I had not been enough.

Life After Emotional Death

Mwendalubi Simamba

In addition to the internal battles mentioned above, I had the added trauma of having to figure out who I was and what I was going to do with my life. I felt a deep hole where ‘he’ had been, and I was not too sure how to deal with it. It felt like I had a vacuum in my heart. I knew I had to let that go, but I was unsure how to do it.

A very pressing issue was finances. I had to move back into my mother’s house to regroup, and for someone independent, this was humbling. My mother suggested I put my hands to work on a family farm to keep busy. I am so glad that I listened to her. I found tending plants therapeutic, giving me time to talk to God and see His creative work in action. It also allowed me to grow my food and eventually start selling the excess.

Externally I was doing better, but I knew that I was still struggling emotionally. I was getting tired of the vacuum in my heart, so I decided to have a meeting with God to tell Him how I felt. I told Him that I did not want to go on feeling this hurt. I also confessed that I was ashamed that my now ex-husband had left me for someone else. I also wanted the strength to forgive Him, but more importantly, to forgive myself.

Although money was still tight, I celebrated the small wins when I noticed I was healing in a particular area. I occasionally still needed extra doses of God’s love as the healing was not instant. I quickly realized that the healing would not be automatic. I had to pursue it. To do this, I sought out books on healing from divorce and listened to radio shows online that I could find that offered help.

I am sad to say that divorce is a lonely road. Many people I had interacted with in different circles pulled away from me. I also learned that being divorced and childless in the African context was very hard. Society is not sure what to do with you. You are not treated with the same honour that you are treated with when you are married. You are viewed as broken. That was a shock for me, and I found it hurtful. Surely a person’s value should not be measured by their marital status.

I am so happy to share that it did get better. After a few hard years, an opportunity to join the workforce came my way, and I took it. Even though my farming venture was growing, I knew that emotionally I needed the structure that working away from home would give me. I had spent a lot of time alone, and it was time to start getting to know new people.

A short time after re-entering formal employment, my boss told me that he saw a lot of potential in me. He asked if I would consider going back to school. After much thought, I went for it and spent the next few years working towards attaining a professional qualification in my field. This contributed to my getting a promotion. Within the same time frame, my exercise instructor asked me if I wanted to participate in a training program to learn how to teach aerobics classes. I pursued it and began teaching classes twice a week as part of the Wellness program that my organization had for employees. It brought me so much joy to help people live healthier lives.

Life After Emotional Death

Mwendalubi (top right corner) with her Aerobics class

If you are going through a tough time, I want you to know that the sun does shine after the storm. There is life after emotional death. You can find yourself again and live a full life in your ‘new normal.’ Healing may seem slow, but it will come. On the days when you can, keep your head up. On the days when it is hard, cry if you need to. Do whatever it takes to heal. The effort is worth it because YOU are worth it."


Mweendalubi is a Procurement Professional and part-time fitness coach. She enjoys reading and spending time outdoors enjoying nature. Connect with her on LinkedIn @Mweendalubi Simamba and on Instagram @ bunde_becomes

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Edited by Bwalya M Mphuka

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Life After Emotional Death

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