• Tulip for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: What to Say to a New Widow

    Right after Shawn died, a colleague of his contacted me. He wanted to express his condolences, but also let me know that his wife was available to talk to me, if I wanted. She had been widowed before they met, and though it had been years, she might be able to help me. He was right. Though we only spoke once – maybe two weeks after Shawn died – she helped me see that people can recover from loss. She didn’t tell me how to grieve or how to heal, but she showed me a path forward, even though I don’t think she knew that she was doing that. So…

  • Grandparents and kids and cousins of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Nana and Pop

    “You made it!” We could hear Nana and Pop shouting from their driveway. Next to them stood Chris’s sister Becky, her husband Josh and their two kids. Our kids bounded out of the car, excited to finally be free. Everyone jumped up and down and hugged. “All our grandkids from DC are finally here!” Nana said, laughing with joy as she was almost tackled over by the five of them. It was a great moment, and one that almost made me cry. But before I get too into that, let me back up and explain a bit more about Chris’s parents, Nana and Pop. I’ve actually known Joanie and Billy…

  • Son and partner of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley by harbor
    Parenting

    What Does it Mean to Be a Dad?

    What does it mean to be a dad? It was one of those sweltering days in the summer, the kind where it’s a little hard to breathe, and I sat at a picnic table at a New York state park with Tommy and Claire. About 50 feet away, Austin was lying down on a bench, with Chris by his side. Up until that point, our car trip to Maine had been pretty uneventful. Austin, easy middle child that he is, had offered to sit in the way back so his sister and brother wouldn’t get carsick. He read a book and we didn’t hear from him for almost 5 hours.…

  • Wedding car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    If My Wedding is Cancelled, Then I Can Make Jury Duty

    I came home a few days ago to a letter in the mail with the dreaded “official jury summons” stamp across the front. I sighed and picked it up. I guess it was time to me to have jury duty again. The last time I’d gone, in fact, was just a few weeks after Shawn died. Here’s part of what I wrote that day, from one of my oldest blog posts, Chuck E. Cheese and Jury Duty: It’s 8:30 am and I’m sitting with 200 of my fellow DC residents, waiting to be called for jury duty. My friends all thought I should defer, that coming to jury duty would…

  • Claire, daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley, chops wood
    New Perspectives

    The First Day of School, Part 2

    When class lists came out, the kids were thrilled. Both of the boys got teachers they really liked, and Claire was excited about the new teachers and classes she was going to have. Everyone was back in real, full-day school for the first time since March 2020 and the mood in our house was one of excitement. I felt that way, too. Really. But I also had this nagging sensation in the back of my mind. What will this year hold for them? Are they ready for this transition, both in school and in our family life? And – logistically – do I need to email their teachers with our…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley as a child with her mother
    Family

    Why? (On the Anniversary of My Mom’s Death)

    One night a few years ago, when my dad was living with me after Shawn died, I was up late working on this blog in the kitchen. My dad had been reading in his room, listening to Gordon Lightfoot after we had put the kids to bed, but he came downstairs and met me to say goodnight. I was stuck on something I was writing and somehow we ended up talking for a long time about my mom. Though we often discussed my mom in general terms, we had just started talking about what it was like when she was sick. For a long time, we’d let that part of…