• Brimley family on a walk after Marjorie became a single mom

    Austin and the Kittens

    A few weeks ago, I took Austin out to dinner. Claire had a play date and Tommy was home with Grandpa Tom, so it was just the two of us. I let him choose the restaurant, and he decided that we should get pizza. It was a beautiful night, so we picked a table outside. We sat down and Austin looked at me without saying anything. I started to ask him about school. “Do you like the other kids in your class this year?” “Yes,” Austin said, simply. Then, I waited for him to say more. Instead, he just looked at the sky. “Well, are you learning interesting things in…

  • Taxi at night similar to one taken by DC widow Marjorie in story
    New Perspectives

    “Go To the Hospital”

    The other night, I was taking a cab home with a couple of friends. Our driver was young and friendly, and we started talking to him about his life. He was upset that he had planned a fun weekend trip for his girlfriend and she had been ignoring his texts and calls all day. “Maybe she’s just busy,” someone offered. “Maybe,” he said, “but I think she’s mad.” We chatted more about their relationship and the many plans they had for their immediate future. I smiled at my friends. I knew they were also thinking how adorably innocent this guy was. “Do you think I should call her?” he asked…

  • Picture of a drill to illustrate what DC widow Marjorie is trying to learn about repairing things in her house
    Things That Suck

    Not My Domain

    Shit just keeps breaking. For real – I cannot keep up with everything that’s broken in my house. The toilet paper dispenser in the downstairs bathroom has been ripped out of the drywall, the handle to the refrigerator is so loose I can barely close it and the back door has a doorknob that routinely falls off. My solution over the past year has been to ignore these problems. To be fair, this was what I did when Shawn was alive. The only difference was that he would actually fix things that were broken. Usually, I didn’t even have to ask. Shawn was handy. I didn’t grow up with a…

  • DC widow Marjorie Brimley at Joshua Tree National Park looking into the distance
    Missing Shawn

    The Joshua Tree

    I was in Palm Springs last weekend to take a break, but really, I was trying to escape my life. I needed a break from the new sadness that was permeating my life. A friend lent me her house and I met up with some girlfriends who had once lived in DC. Between us, we have nine young children, so everyone was really excited for some down time. The second day we were there, my friend Margaret got it in her head that we should go hiking. “Ugh,” I thought. “I just want to relax.” But I let her convince me it was a good idea. Plus, though it was…

  • Two people holding hands to symbolize DC Widow Marjorie's experience watching Sorry For Your Loss
    Things That Suck

    Sorry For Your Loss: A Review

    A few weeks ago, a new show debuted on Facebook. I had no idea Facebook made tv shows, but apparently they do. In any case, this new show is called “Sorry For Your Loss” and is about a young widow. It is brilliant. That is not an understatement. I’ve watched the first eight episodes and I am convinced that the writers for this show are all young widows. It’s that spot-on. The show is about a woman, Leigh (played by Elizabeth Olsen), who is probably in her early 30s. As the show begins, the viewer finds out that her husband died three months prior. In the first episode, she sits…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley kissing before Shawn died and Marjorie became a widow
    Things That Suck

    A Brutal Few Weeks

    I’m not sure how to say this any other way, but it’s been a brutal few weeks for me. Of course, healing from tragic loss is not linear. Every therapist loves to tell me that, and I believe it. Some days are terrible, some days are not, and there’s no specific progression. In January, and for about six months afterwards, I felt really sad about my life. I felt like I might never be happy again, because how could I be? But then, I started to see some hope. I had days when I felt good for much of the time, and I began to envision the future. I couldn’t…