• Austin gets his cut glued shut by friend of DC widow

    The Scar

    Claire has been to the emergency room exactly one time, when she ate a pistachio nut and had an allergic reaction that had to be treated with epinephrine.  My boys, however, have been at least a dozen times between them.  They’ve received stitches and slings and warnings from doctors to never again do whatever it was they were doing.  It’s a stereotype to be sure, but damn if my boys don’t go to the ER much more than my girl. I managed to make it through six months without anyone getting hurt.  But of course it was Austin who broke that streak last Friday night. After Shawn died, this was actually…

  • Brimley family in field before losing Shawn and becoming a widow
    What Not to Say

    A Review of “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”

    I went on Amazon the other day and put in “widow book.”  Now that I’m emerging – just a tiny bit – from the fog of the first few months, I’m trying to figure out how to make my life work.  I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about loss and grief.  I talk to everyone and I keep going to different types of therapy.  I know there’s no magic answer, but I figure it can’t hurt to just try everything I can to help ease the pain. Anyway, Amazon recommended this book called, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing,” and so I bought it.  I’ve spent the…

  • Runner on street similar to DC widow Marjorie
    Family & Friends

    Run Away

    On Monday, I woke with a pit in my stomach.  “Six months,” I thought.  “Six entire months since Shawn left this world.  How could that be?”  I didn’t quite know what to do with the anxiety I was feeling, but my cousin Amy offered to take my kids for the morning and I gratefully left them with her. “I’m going out on a run,” I told her. “Great,” she said, “there’s a loop you can run around here, or you can cross the main road and go further.” I took off.  It was raining, which is weird for Texas in July, but it meant that the heat didn’t hold me…

  • Shawn Brimley's grave with Austin's converse and Marjorie's name appearing as a widow
    New Perspectives

    6 Months

    In the past 3 weeks, I’ve endured Father’s Day, Shawn’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.  Today, it’s the 6 month marker since his death. I woke up nervous, though I’m not sure why.  It’s not like anything has changed today, and the specific time period of six months is a made-up marker anyway.  But I’ve now lived a half of a year without Shawn, and that is something that gives me pause. If you had asked me a year ago if I would be able to handle six entire months without my husband, I would definitely have said “no.” And yet, here I am.  I am not whole anymore, but…

  • Shawn Brimley hiking with kids outside DC
    New Perspectives

    Go, Go, Go

    Shawn and I met in Japan. We were just out of college, two young kids looking for adventure and a job that would support our wanderings. We ended up in the same town teaching English, me at the middle school and him at the high school. We loved travel. From the first moment we met, we talked about where we wanted to go and what we would do in those places. When we spent a weekend day together even before we were dating, we would get up early and explore whatever city we were in for at least 12 hours. In fact, I have a vivid memory of one night…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley on their wedding day

    An Anniversary of Sorts

    Shawn and I were married when I was 25 and he had just turned 27.  Back home in small-town Oregon, many of my friends were already married by 25.  But my friends outside of my hometown were somewhat scandalized.  At some point during our engagement, I overheard one friend ask another, “how long have they actually even known each other?”  Another dear friend of mine asked me, “are you sure you want to marry Shawn?  Like, for the rest of your life? You’re only 25!”  None of these people really knew Shawn.  They only knew that I was deciding to get married at a fairly young age. But everyone who…