• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley looks at son

    In the Middle

    By the second baseball game this season, I was feeling like a pretty rotten parent. Austin was striking out every single time he got up to bat, and though it was only third-grade baseball, I knew he was athletic enough to do better. It’s just that he hadn’t had any practice last summer. I should have helped him practice batting every once in a while. I should have thrown the ball with him. I read lots to Tommy over the summer, and I helped Claire improve both her gymnastics and running techniques. But I didn’t help Austin with anything, really. Austin is my middle kid, and in stereotypical fashion, he…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks with husband Shawn on their wedding day

    “If I Die, Please Get Remarried”

    If you are married or have a long-term partner, I want you to do something right now. I want you to turn to your partner, pick up your phone, or get some paper out. And then I want you to tell your significant other this: “if I die, please get remarried.” “What?” you might be thinking, “I need some time to ponder this. Do I really want the love of my life getting remarried? What would that mean for our family/kids/dog/house? Marjorie doesn’t even know me that well! How can she ask me to do something like this?” Listen, I get it. Until Shawn got sick, I only had a…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley runs in cross country race
    New Perspectives

    What’s the Worst Thing That Can Happen?

    I was driving to a cross-country meet with Claire a few weeks ago, and she was really nervous. “I have butterflies!” she said from the backseat. I tried to calm her down. She’s still in elementary school and she was only going to be running a couple of miles. “It’s for fun, anyway,” I said. “But what if it’s terrible?” she said. I could hear the worry in her voice. “Okay,” I said, “what’s the worst thing that can happen today?” “I could die!” Claire said. “You’re not going to die,” I said. “You know that. So let’s think about what actually might happen.” “I could have to walk,” she…

  • Photo of Marjorie and Shawn held my DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    October 10th

    I heard the story so many times, I could tell it verbatim to the doctors and nurses who asked. Yes, Shawn went to a baseball game early in October. Yes, he had at least one hot dog. Almost immediately after, the pain started. We thought he had food poisoning at first, and then maybe an infection. But it was that day – the day the pain crippled him for the first time – when things became truly concerning. That day was October 10th. He had some small warning signs before that. An upset stomach here or there, a twinge of pain every once in a while throughout the few weeks…

  • Image of grief books owned by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    Marjorie’s Favorite Grief Books

    Every once in a while, someone will ask me for a good book to read on grief. I never quite know what to say, because there are so many options. However, I’ve realized that on my blog I mostly discuss books I dislike, rather than those that have been really helpful. So below, in my humble opinion, is my list of the best grief books you can find. No, it is not every book on grief and loss, but it includes the ones that have been important in my life over the past two years. I have arranged them in a way that I think makes most sense. Best books…

  • Parent swinging child in sunset like in story by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    At First Glance

    In the past week, I’ve had two different acquaintances tell me about terrible things going on with their families. In both cases, I was asked to keep the information confidential, which I gladly did. But it got me thinking. Before Shawn died, I used to talk with my closest friends about their problems, and I’d share mine. Sometimes, these dear friends of mine had serious problems, and we’d work through them together. But I never discussed serious problems with more casual friends and acquaintances. Instead, I talked to people in my my larger circle about our daily lives, our kids and our work. We never got too serious. When I…