• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs friend Michelle at night
    New Perspectives

    I’m a Widow. You’d Think I’d Be Better at Doing Hard Things. I’m Not.

    I’m about to do something really hard. And I’m a tiny bit nervous. Okay, I’m more than a tiny bit nervous. If I’m being honest, I’m legitimately anxious about this next step. It’s a big, hard step. And doing hard things is scary. It’s not like I’ve never done hard things. I lived with a mentally ill mother who died by suicide. And then I got married and had three kids and then my husband died. And then I dealt with everything that widowhood brings. And I survived it. I even found love again. Which was wonderful…and also, it was sometimes scary. Any big changes can be scary, I know…

  • Grandpa Tom buys strawberries for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Family & Friends

    Happy Birthday, Grandpa Tom

    Some people say that I’m the most optimistic person that they know. But that’s not really true. That award should go to my dad. I mean, sure, he can get all fired up over some story he reads in the news or some call in a Texas football game. He can be grumpy or frustrated. He has other emotions. And yet, my dad exudes a kind of optimism that is contagious. Even when he’s grumpy, he is so joyfully grumpy. “Aren’t we lucky?” he often said to me as a kid, often in circumstances when I felt bored, annoyed or something that amounted to less than lucky. “Aren’t we lucky…

  • Boxes for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Widowhood is Stressful. This Survey Proves It.

    It wasn’t until after Shawn died that I realized my hair had been falling out. The bald spots on my head were growing, once again. Because that’s what every newly widowed 38-year-old wants….to be bald! It was like the universe or God or something was just adding yet another “fuck you” to the list of things that could go wrong in my life. Wasn’t it bad enough that my husband had just died? Now I had to contend with a bald spot that was spreading? Stress causes me to lose my hair. (Luckily, it’s mostly in the back of my head, but sometimes the spots can get really big.) This,…

  • Sea by Eastport for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Along the Coastline

    The music was loud and the wind whipped through the car as we drove north. Chris and I had dropped our kids at overnight camp in Maine and had a weekend to ourselves. The scenery, especially as we neared the border, was spectacular. We were in Eastport (“Easternmost city in the United States!“) and it seemed that all that was ahead of us was the sea and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “Shawn always said Nova Scotia was the most beautiful place in the world,” I said to Chris. “He wanted to take me there. But I can’t imagine it being more beautiful than this.” “Well,…

  • People in coffeeshop for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow,  Dating

    Ask a Widow: No One Is Ready

    How do you know that you’re ready to date after loss? It’s one of the most common questions I get. In fact, just the other day, I got this (edited) email from a widow who had recently become interested in someone new. It had been about 18 months after the death of her husband. It left her with some conflicting feelings: I mean, I really like the guy, but my emotions can go overboard – I grieve, I like him as a friend, I want him as a boyfriend, I just want him as a friend, etc. This is tiring me out and I don’t know how to manage. Maybe…

  • Back of car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: What Changes Do Remarriage and Adoption Bring?

    I love getting mail in my dcwidow inbox. I hear from all sorts of people, including many widows in all sorts of situations. I try and answer all of them, and every once in awhile, I can offer a bit of advice. I mean, I have no training in mental health care, but it turns out that I’ve learned a bit from just walking the planet as a widow for 4 1/2 years. In any case, I recently got an email from a woman who had a somewhat similar story to mine. Her first husband, Doug, died when her son Aaron was just 2 months old. After a number of…