• Fall leaves for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: Dating…It’s Just Like Improv!

    “Just make sure you’re always meeting in a public place,” my dad said, one night after I told him about an upcoming date I had. He was lying in the recliner, dressed in an old t-shirt and some sweatpants, an outfit that he only wore to bed. It was 8:30, which was close to his bedtime, and I teased him a little. “What do you think I’m going to do, have some guy I’ve never met over for 5:30 dinner with the kids?”  He didn’t reply. He merely raised his eyebrows and slightly pursed his lips. I knew he thought online dating was risky. “Just look, Dad,” I said, showing…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs husband at wedding in field
    New Perspectives

    Rule of Life

    Every year, I make New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, that’s not totally true. The year Shawn was dying, I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t spend even one second thinking about them. I just wanted him to stay alive, which I don’t think really qualifies as a “resolution”. But the next year, I made a resolution, one that was quite straightforward. I called it the “Year of Yes” – something I had heard of online, and resolved to say “yes” to everything that I could. It was an attempt to create a new life for myself, a year after Shawn’s death. It didn’t work out perfectly, but it helped me move…

  • Chris Hale, husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: A First (Platonic) Night With Chris

    Chris and I were friends for well over a year before I thought it could be something more. Though we’d met years prior, I’d never talked to him for more than a few minutes at a time, usually when I was dropping off a kid for a playdate at his sister Becky’s house and he happened to be in town. But about a year after Shawn died, I was flying through Atlanta, where he lived, and I had a day-long layover. Becky suggested I stay with Chris, and before I had the chance to ask for his number, he texted me. Hi Marjorie—it’s Becky’s brother, Chris. I hear you’ll be…

  • Grandpa Tom looks at DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: Who Do You Want Raising Your Grandkids?

    One morning as I ate the breakfast of eggs my dad had just made for me, I watched him go about his work in the kitchen. He was cleaning up the dishes from the kids and then he wiped Tommy’s mouth with the blue sponge from the sink. I thought about how readily he’d moved in with us after Shawn’s death. For a long time, I’d just accepted the decision as a normal one. But I also knew it couldn’t have been an easy one to make. At that point, he’d been living with us for almost a year. I watched him take a long swipe of the counter with…

  • From the Archives

    From the Archives: Baths and Bedtime with Grandpa Tom

    We never really talked about how long my dad was going to stay, but weeks turned into months, and there he continued to be. After dinner in the evenings, we cleaned up and then we all went upstairs to get ready for bed. It had always been my routine with the kids and my dad joined me without comment immediately after Shawn died and we were home together. Most nights, my dad bathed Tommy and I supervised showers with the older kids. “Only three toys,” I heard him say one night. I came in to find Tommy deciding which bath toys he was going to bring in the tub, picking…

  • Beach for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Holidays

    He is Still Here with Me, with Us

    How has it been 5 years? It’s what I keep thinking lately. For some reason, this anniversary of Shawn’s death feels different. More significant, maybe, but also just strangely unsettling. You see, the first anniversary was one of deep grief, one that was overpowered by any other emotion. But as the anniversaries continued, I found that I could more easily face them, and sometimes even find meaning in them. My anxiety was – and is – still significant around January 9th. But I’ve learned to cope with it. I’ve learned to focus on my children and lean on Chris. And yet, I keep asking the same question: How has it…