I’ve been absent from the blogging world for over six months creating a safe place.

The importance of creating, developing, defining and sustaining a safe place for my daughter and I supersedes all other concerns.   We all take for granted the need for the children in our lives to have a safe, thriving, established life.  If you’re the sole parent, the need is even greater.

While I lost the love of my life 8 years ago- my daughter no longer has her dad.  She lost the stable, comfortable relationship in her life that helped her develop over the past 20 years she knew him and lived with him.

No matter what grief and loss I experienced without my husband, I think it’s multiplied many times over what my daughter lost.  And due to her disability, she’s not able to articulate her feelings like you and me.  It’s internalized.  It’s not verbal. It’s a loss of a concrete relationship in her life.

My set-backs

I have been challenged with major health issues over the past year that caused me excruciating pain.  While suffering alone, I was constantly reminded of the effect my illness had on my daughter.  I had to get better for her.

The will to live is profoundly not a selfish task. It’s inbred in all of us. I have to live to help cultivate the values, dreams and inspiration deposited into my daughter by her dad and me.  The stability of a dad can’t be replaced.  I can’t let him down in continuing to provide for her, nor can I let my daughter down.  So, I have to continue to create a safe place where she can be the best version of herself.  That safe place is a physical home location (we had to downsize and move to a new neighborhood), as well as a spiritual safe place where we feel safe sharing our new world together, as changed as it is.

Not unlike other moms, I am responsible for sharing wisdom, knowledge, faith and opportunities that can help her thrive.  Her disabilities may delay experiences other young women her age experience, but who am I to withhold the world from her?  But the reality is- she can’t thrive if I’m broken, sick or not in a great place myself.

During the past year, I removed myself from negative external influences, pulled back outside responsibilities, resigned from running a nonprofit, and now work for a company which allows me the freedom and flexibility I needed to be available for my daughter’s growth.  And time for my continued healing using physical therapies, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal teas, whole foods, prayers and rest.  All combined have contributed to me moving towards restoration.

Moving Forward

While not fully healed, my daughter and I are living a better, stable and peaceful life that benefits us both.  That’s a part of creating a life that would make my husband proud and continues to contribute to my successful widow journey. Sure, we both miss him greatly, but she had created these wonderful traditions that we celebrate throughout the year that keeps us connected together and to him.

Don’t ignore the power of rest and taking time out for you and your family when needed.  No body is going to take care of you but you- so use the time wisely to carve out a safe place for yourself.


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.