• Blurred night cityscape for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow,  Dating

    Ask a Widow: When Sex Can Be Good…and When Sex Can Be Tricky

    I know a lot of widows who think a lot about sex. I’m not talking about any specific group of widows. I hear from people of all ages and backgrounds and life experiences on this blog, and one of the most common things people write to me about is sex. Is it okay to want to have sex after (fill-in-the-blank-amount-of-time) has passed since your partner died? Is it strange to desire people who you would have never desired before widowhood? Is it totally off-base to date a friend or a neighbor? Some questions are easy to answer. Anything about feelings (i.e. “is it okay to feel this way”) is easy.…

  • Sunrise for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    A Countdown Calendar for Grief?

    Sometimes, I just can’t believe what I find on Google. The other day, I was trying to look up something for a blog post, and so I googled, “widowhood.” My eyes scanned over the first few hits, and one really stood out to me. The title of the article was, “First year of widowhood most harmful to mental health, according to a sample of over 70,000 middle aged women.” It’s an awkward title. But it made me think. And what I thought was, well no shit. I mean, of course the first year of widowhood is the most harmful to mental health, at least compared to the years that follow.…

  • Man waiting at airport by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Dating

    That’s What You Look For

    I bet I think about dating more than most married women. Let me clarify – I don’t think about how I want to be dating someone else! But I do think about what it’s like for other people who are dating. Especially widows. Unlike many of my married friends, I have a number of single friends (yes, many of my single friends are widows). Plus, I have this blog where people write me about their experiences dating. And wow – I hear a lot of crazy stories. Dating is a topic that I haven’t forgotten about since I married Chris. This is a radical change from the first time I…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale watch fireworks
    Holidays

    How We Remember

    I’ve been in Texas all week, gathering with my family as we do every year. It’s been lovely, full of all the things that make my family great – big pool parties, loud arguments, belly laughs and a whole lot of ice cream. I haven’t done any work, and I haven’t even thought about writing, until now. I’ve simply enjoyed the company of my aunts and uncles and cousins and the zillion kids that are here. It’s been glorious. And so, it was a bit odd to be getting ready for lunch yesterday when I realized that it was July 3rd. It surprised me. Not that I had remembered the…

  • Sewing machine for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Family & Friends

    The Sewing Room

    One of the places my mom loved most was her sewing room. It was just a little room, tucked away at the end of the hallway, a place too small for much more than a desk where she could put her sewing machine, and a closet where she could put all her projects. When we were kids, I often came home from school to find her in there. She taught me how to sew in that room. When she died, we closed the door of the sewing room. I mean, sure, every once in a while my sister or I would go in there to get a needle and thread,…

  • Shawn Brimley and son make cake for birthday on blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Missing Shawn

    Shawn’s Birthday, Year 5

    He would be 45 today. Wow, that seems so old. Maybe it’s because he only made it just over the hump, to his 40th birthday, and then so quickly left this earth. Shawn and I talked a lot about what it would mean to be forty (40!) and how it was this whole new step in our lives. And yet, he fell ill just a few months later, and died so quickly that we never really had the chance to think through what our forties would be like. I had to figure that out on my own. The first year without Shawn, I wrote two blog posts about his birthday.…