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Single mother of 7 determined to rebuild life after losing husband to Covid-19

Despite the many challenges, Nuraida Abdul Ghani soldiers on.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
3 minute read
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Noraidah Abdul Ghani and her young son clean out a cat's cage at their home in Serendah, Rawang.
Noraidah Abdul Ghani and her young son clean out a cat's cage at their home in Serendah, Rawang.

Surrounded by green hills, Desa Melur is a residential area nestled deep within Serendah in Selangor.

Here, 50-year-old single mother Nuraida Abdul Ghani has lived for the past 11 years. 

It is where she and her late husband raised their seven children.

But Ahmad Rosdi died in 2021 due to Covid-19 complications. 

He had quit his job in February that year to focus on missionary work with the tabligh community in Brazil.

But he and his friend, with whom he had planned to travel, failed to obtain immigration clearance. 

"Some other congregants were unable to go to Spain, so all of them eventually went out for missionary work in Kuala Kangsar for four months," Nuraida recounted.

A few days after Rosdi returned, he started feeling feverish. The fever worsened and he started getting weaker.

Just two weeks later, Rosdi succumbed to his illness.

Covid-19 was running rampant in the country at that time, and several other deaths had been reported in the area before Rosdi contracted the virus.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Nuraida recalled how neighbours and friends had helped with the funeral arrangements. 

"But some of the children couldn't see their father one last time because they were away at religious school," she said.

Nuraida, a former religious teacher herself, has been trying to rebuild her life without her husband ever since. 

She does not work anymore as the school management under the state religious department had set new conditions for the appointment of teachers. 

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Noraidah Abdul Ghani speaks to MalaysiaNow about the difficulties she has faced since losing her husband to Covid-19 two years ago. 

"I was no longer able to teach at the branch school and would have had to move to the main school, which was further away. 

"So I decided to quit and stay at home full-time," she said.

Her eldest child is 23 while her youngest is in Standard Four.

The 10-year-old keeps her company at home as the others have left to further their studies at religious schools.

For Nuraida, much has changed over the past two years, including how she gets around. 

Before her husband's death, she never drove despite having a driver's licence. Now, though, she is determined to put her licence to good use. 

Fortunately, her husband's car is still in good shape and she uses it to send her children to school. She even drove her family back to her home town in Kelantan for the recent Hari Raya celebration. 

In terms of finances, Nuraida initially received contributions from the mosque in the days following her husband's death. 

Today, she gets by on the monthly compensation she receives from Socso. 

"Some have helped with the children's school fees," she said. "But they need books and supplies for classes this month." 

Aware that her family could not continue to rely on contributions from others, she also started a small business, making and selling frozen buns and curry puffs. 

"Someone donated a refrigerator, and I received a small amount of capital from several others," she said, adding that her neighbours had been a great support. 

Her hope is that she will be able to live out the rest of her days in the house which, for so long, she has called home. 

But with word from the landlord that the house has been put up for sale, this cherished dream may not come true. 

"If there are interested buyers, the landlord will tell them that the house is currently rented," she said. 

"So far, no one has inquired. But if I am forced to move, I will try and find another house in this neighbourhood."

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