The other day I was chatting with someone I had not seen in many, many years, since my husband’s funeral in 2015. In attempting to catch up on years of experiences gone by, I had to quickly determine what version of my previous life experiences I wanted to share. Should I share the abbreviated version of my grief journey, or would she be interested in hearing the longer version? I’m sure you’ve also had to quickly gauge someone’s personal interest in your life, or does the challenge lie with you- do you have the stamina or time to go into all the nuances of being a widow and how your journey has transitioned?

I quickly decided the person I was sharing with had the bandwidth to fully grasp the depth of the past 6 years, and I shared the highs and lows of living as a solo widowed parent of an adult with disabilities. After continuing our conversation over coffee, and even opening up and shedding a few tears and prayers, we renewed our sisterhood bond. We vowed to stay connected more frequently, as we departed, she kept repeating, “I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through!”  While that is a regular expression I hear from people, this time it stuck me particularly hard.

It is true. She cannot imagine or even understand what I have gone through the past 6 years. She has never married, nor has she been in a committed relationship in over 10 years. Even if she was married, she has never experienced the pain of losing your covenant partner in “a blink of an eye, with no warning.” I’ve always believed, it takes a widow to understand a widow.

Over the past 6 years of attempting to put together a new life for my daughter and I, I too have wondered how I handled navigating all the challenges that have come my way.  Financial challenges, logistical challenges, and emotional challenges have all presented enormous barriers in securing a peaceful, stress-free life.

While I never would have imagined my life during the past 6 years- moving into a new year I will imagine a life worth living.  This current year, with all its drama is closing and I have another opportunity to grow and strive towards better.

In 2022- I vow to imagine:

  • Myself whole and healthy
  • Seeking and securing a better financial position
  • Restoring my peace and removing anxiety
  • Re-establishing my love for the arts by visiting museums and taking art classes
  • Spending time replenishing my soul with words of affirmations and prayers
  • Seeing myself as worthy of having a full, powerful life as the victor, and not the victim
  • Connecting with others that deposit positivity instead of negavity into my life
  • Surrounding myself with people who share wisdom to help me grow
  • That God only wants the best for my family and absolutely loves me!

I pray that you too find your peace and joy in 2022 and know that we have a promise of a good life, if only we can believe. We must not give up, no matter how hard the situations are and the pains of grief.

To your imagination!


Ajai Blue-Saunders is a servant leader and works for a nonprofit in the Richmond VA area. She is always seeking ways to encourage and serve others, even while experiencing the sudden death of her husband in 2015. Her work experience includes project development, herbalist, management, supervision and overseeing several companies and nonprofits.

Ajai has a heart for the disability community and serves on many local and national boards. She currently is solo parenting an artistic adult daughter with disabilitiies and together they are navigating this life with faith and love. She currently runs a widow's support group that meets monthly sponsored by a local funeral home which provides a safe place for widows to experience their grief journey with love and compassion.