• Road in forest for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: That’s What We Have Right Now. Hope.

    My dad arrived a week before Christmas. Initially, when Shawn was diagnosed, he’d offered to come in January for the duration of the chemotherapy. Shawn and I thought it would take about six months, and my dad could help our family until the worst was over.   What we didn’t know was that my dad had different plans. After he saw the scans that were taken a few days before Shawn’s colonoscopy, he knew it was much worse than we realized. I didn’t know till later that he’d sat at his computer in his living room and held a printout of the scan, crying as he looked at it.   My dad…

  • Husband and daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale read a book together
    Parenting

    Parent 2 (Part 2)

    In the early days of widowhood, sometimes the smallest things would make me cry. In fact, I have a very vivid memory of sobbing the first time I filled out a form for one of the kids and realized that there was no father to go in the “Parent 2” slot. Obviously, I had to do this a number of times over the next few years, and it did get easier. I started writing “No Parent 2” in the slot, though sometimes I’d get auto-replies that said things like, “Hello Marjorie Brimley and No Parent 2!” I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. That fall after Shawn died, I…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale together before Shawn's death
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: Marjorie, What If I’m Dying?

    Throughout the past 4 1/2 years, I’ve written pieces that never appeared on the blog. Sometimes, these pieces of writing were too raw for me to share, and sometimes they were simply musings that I wasn’t sure were interesting for a bigger audience. Often, I wrote to process what had happened and to try and understand how my life had turned out the way it did. These writings went in a folder, and for the next few months, I plan to share some of them with you. I’m calling these posts, “From the Archives”. Here’s the first one. The pain in Shawn’s gut became obvious at the end of October,…

  • Husband and son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale on porch in Colombia
    New Perspectives

    Pico y Placa

    I wake up early in Colombia. I’m not totally sure why, as the sun doesn’t come up any earlier than it did back home and the city isn’t that much louder than DC. But every morning, around 5 am, my eyes pop open and I am awake. It’s okay, this waking-up-early thing. I have always woken up early (though not quite as early as 5) so it’s not totally bizarre for me to be up before everyone else. Anyway, a few weeks into our time here in Colombia, I found myself awake in the wee hours of the morning, yet again. I figured I’d get up and make something special…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale draws on porch in Colombia
    New Perspectives

    The Power of Yet

    The thing about moving to another country is that everything seems hard – going to the grocery store, trying to talk to the guy in the elevator, paying for something in cash – and it’s doubly hard with kids in tow. We’ve been in Colombia for about a month now, and while some things have gotten easier, every single day I’m pretty exhausted by the time dinner rolls around. Of course, I have plenty to be grateful for, but also…it’s just a lot. Take school. The kids are going to a bilingual school, so many of the parents speak English, and yet the text threads that I’m on for each…

  • 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…