• Stethoscope for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    The Vaccine

    I saw the text and immediately started crying. “I got the vaccine!” It was from my sister Lindsay. I called her immediately. She was smiling and I was laugh/crying with relief as we spoke. Her baby girl was sitting in a high chair, cramming pancakes in her mouth, and my kids came over to say hello and do a cheer. The vaccine! I wasn’t expecting her text, even though Lindsay is an emergency room nurse in a busy urban hospital. Even though she spends much of every 12-hour shift with confirmed Covid-positive patients. Even though she wanted the vaccine as soon as it was available. I had called her the…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with her sister
    Family & Friends

    Fierce Loyalty

    When my mom died, my dad couldn’t face cleaning out her closet. I was just 19, and so it didn’t fully make sense to me why the closet had more meaning than any other space. I volunteered to do it, and along with my sister Lindsay and our childhood friend Marcie, I went through my mother’s clothes. It was a quiet process, which is my lasting memory. Marcie took things out of the closet and my sister and I sorted through them. My sister, always meticulous, folded the clothes that we were going to keep. I don’t remember much else. I do remember that Lindsay and I talked very little…

  • Grandpa Tom makes breakfast for DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley in kitchen
    Family & Friends

    Do You Know What’s Hard?

    “Grandpa Toooooom!” Claire, Austin and Tommy were all trying to cram their faces into the screen at the same time, shouting their grandfather’s name and jumping up and down. It’s not like they hadn’t seen his face lately – we FaceTime as a family at least a few times a week – but rather that they were excited to each share the latest updates of their lives. Tommy wanted to show off his new book on space, Austin wanted to talk about his backyard science experiment and Claire was trying to describe her most recent adventure in baking. Grandpa Tom was all smiles as he listened. “That’s great!” he said…

  • Family & Friends

    The Best Condolence Letter

    I got a lot of letters when Shawn died. Mostly, they were letters with photos of flowers on the front (why are there always flowers on sympathy cards?) and a short note inside saying something like, “We were so sorry to hear about Shawn’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the kids.” I appreciated these notes, at least in theory, but mostly I just tossed them into a drawer and forgot about them. I was thankful that people sent them and I really loved the cards where my friends and family recounted memories they had of Shawn. I saved a lot of them for the kids.…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley on bikes
    Family & Friends

    That’s a Special Feeling

    The post below was written by my daughter, Claire, for her 6th grade language arts class. The assignment was to write about a “defining moment” from the last 6 months. I loved it so much that I asked her to put it on my blog, and she gracefully said “yes.” It is the original assignment, unedited by me. ——– When my dad died I felt confused like my family and I would never feel happy again. I look back to that day 2 ½ years ago and realize that I have moved on with my life, which is a good thing. For a long time it was just my mom…

  • Hands in air for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Want Less Judgmental Friends? Find Some Widows!

    I was talking to a widow friend via text the other day, and I was catching her up on my life. She knows about my partner Chris but didn’t know all the details of our relationship, so I was filling her in. “So he’s never been married,” she said, “why is that?” Quickly, before I could answer, she texted a follow-up, “there is zero judgement from me, obviously.” Here’s the thing – she didn’t have to type that last line. I already knew it. I knew it because she’s my friend and I know she wants the best for me. But I also knew it because she’s a widow. My…