• Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale looks at his dad Chris at wedding

    Do You Have Any Memories of Your Dad Shawn?

    The music was on in the background – Fleetwood Mac, I think – and Chris bustled around the kitchen getting dishes in the cabinets and napkins for the table. In the living room, Claire and Austin did homework. At the stove, Tommy slowly stirred the pasta as I cooked some salmon next to him. It was just an everyday moment, one where no one was saying much, but we were together. “I miss Shawn,” Tommy said. It happens sometimes, that Tommy says something that maybe the rest of us – even Austin and Claire – usually reserve for more reflective times. But Tommy is still young and he says things…

  • Tommy Brimley, son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, kneels by his father's grave
    Missing Shawn

    My Body Still Knows

    It was my racing heart that woke me up around 4 am every morning last week. It was confusing, usually. Why was I feeling so nervous? Sometimes, I’d get up and get a drink of water or just walk around a bit, trying to shake away the anxiety inside my body. But it persisted. Maybe I was nervous about the return to school, I figured. Covid is really bad in DC, so maybe I was worried about getting sick at school, or maybe I was just feeling the general angst in the air every time I go to the grocery store. Maybe it was the snow that kept falling last…

  • Woman driving car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    A Car for Our Future

    When we bought the car, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I was pregnant with Austin and I wasn’t comfortable behind the steering wheel and it was so much bigger than our previous car. But we were becoming a family of four, and we just didn’t fit easily in the other car. Or at least both carseats didn’t. And so we bought a Mazda with a third row, a car big enough to fit three car seats when the time came, a car that brought both of our boys home from the hospital, a car that took us to Canada and camping and to a zillion soccer games. It…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in forest at her wedding

    Hello, 2022… (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello, 2022. Hello love stories. Hello to embracing the hard things we have to face, and laughing at the joys we get to have. I think we’ll find a lot of them this year. Hello to long runs and walks with friends, backyard barbecues with family and long adventures on bikes with Chris. We haven’t beat you yet, Covid, but we’ve learned to still have fun with you around. Hello to letting others accompany me in my grief. No one can fix it. But you can be by my side. Hello to love that I can see and share with you all. Hello to seeing (and hearing!) the love between…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with son in front of Christmas tree

    Goodbye, 2021… (Part 1 of 2)

    Goodbye, 2021. Goodbye, nightmares. I know I also said this last year (and the year before that and the year before that), but those really terrible ones? For real, no more nightmares, please. Goodbye, junk mail that still arrives for Shawn. Especially when it’s life insurance policies. Goodbye to making everyone happy. Yes, things may have been different in the past. But now, I need to make the best decisions I can for my family, which may not please everyone else. Goodbye worries that our wedding will be ruined or our guests will do all the wrong things. Turned out, in every way it mattered, it was perfect. Goodbye anxiety over…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale sees husband Chris for the first time at wedding
    Love and Chris

    See It to Believe It

    It was a year into widowhood, and an old group of friends of mine had suggested a short trip out West, a long weekend where we could reunite and also lose ourselves in the landscape of the desert. It had been a good decision to go, I realized, as I sat with them the first night and drank margaritas and tried to brainstorm how to find me a man who could drown my sorrows, at least for a night. We laughed a lot and talked about the days before we had children. They spent a good amount of time listening to me talk about my terrible first dating experiences and…