Don’t let the trauma and grief we have experienced distort who we are and who God is.

As I go through challenges and troubles, the evil that I’ve experienced while alive on this earth can often limit my perspective of the world. The reality is that living through tough times can set us back. Financial, physical and emotional setbacks that rob us of our joy. Often, while I should be moving forward in life, I’m focused on the past experiences that bring me depression and sadness. I want to give up.

I believe different generations manage trouble differently. I’m of the boomer generation and this generation has experienced the difficulties of wars, large towers falling (World trade center), the march for civil rights among other things. All these events at times caused me to develop a stronger resolve to live on. Fighting through these worldly events, hurts, disappointments, traumas, and lives born but many lost.  I get tired.

Sometimes during these hurts I develop a callous heart towards people, the issues and concerns of today, towards my family, society and even towards God. I can at times be callous and hard towards Hope. I do give up.

I have to remind myself to not get disappointed, but to keep fighting. It’s a constant emotional and mental pull to not identify with the pains I experience, the hurt, the constant grief reminders, and sorrows of being lonely. Widowhood is hard.

My reality is that I am in a fight to survive. A fight to keep moving forward- taking more than enough steps to get through this day and the next. Every day I’m allowed to wake up, which means God is giving me another chance to change the world into a better place. God loves me through each day- good and bad.

I have to remind myself that even when I’m feeling down and depressed, I’m not alone. There are people out there that remember me and still love me. So for that day, I live on.

The constant noise in my head to give up makes sounds distorted.  I must remember that God is not against me. He is for me and loves me. He is my friend.  Reading Scripture reminders are important daily habits I continue to do.   I can attest to the power of Scriptures that got me through some of my darkest days when I wanted to give up.  God continually shows up and is with me every day.  I must purposely block out negative people and energies that cause me to doubt His love for me.

A distorted viewpoint of life will keep me stuck and paralyzed in fear and grief.

I know there is a constant battle for my soul, my gifts, my strong loving and kind heart. As a group of widows, as a team, we are battling together to have a widow’s voice. A voice that won’t let our husband’s spirit, memories and life be forgotten. This battle is to keep memories fresh and still meaningful to us and others who knew our husbands. He lives on in traditions, love, and memories.

We- the women left behind to raise the next generations of young, stronger men and women to carry forth the rally cry of “Say their name.”   Remember who they were, all they contributed to the earth and our world. We don’t forget.

Don’t lose the focus of your own life. The dreams we once had, the goals still reachable, the prayers still going forward daily for peace and a good life. Wrong, negative thinking can often make me, and you forget to continue this journey. I often want to quit and just admit defeat, but I know my husband is cheering me on to continue the life we had and strive for better. I think he would be proud.

Let’s imagine ourselves whole and able.  I choose to believe in better and ignore the distorted reality all around me.


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.