• Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley smiles at table outside
    Missing Shawn

    Letter to Shawn

    Dear Shawn, I was watching the news last night, listening to a politician who was speaking about current events in the United States. I was only half listening because I was trying to work on my blog (I’ll get to that in a minute), but it occurred to me that so much has changed since your death almost three years ago. If you arrived in our living room this morning, you might be really surprised at what has transpired over the years since you left. So here’s my update to you, just in case you can somehow access it. Let me start with the most surprising things happening in our…

  • Beach with hearts for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Who Would You Love More?

    A few weeks ago, as I was chopping vegetables, Claire came into the kitchen and started talking to me. We chatted for a while about our lives, including when my boyfriend Chris was going to come back to stay with us again. “He’s back home for another week,” I told her, “but then he will be here for a long stretch. He’s really excited to see us again.” She smiled, did a little hop and said “yay!” It was quiet for a moment as she looked at me to see what I’d say next. As I sat in that space, I could feel her thinking. I waited. “Mama,” she said…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley play at cemetery
    Missing Shawn

    Ghosts in the Backyard

    My children are currently obsessed with ghosts. They somehow discovered this app for their iPad that lets you “discover” ghosts that are living nearby. You can search for these ghosts and then “talk” to them via the app. They are a tiny bit scared by it all, but mostly it’s a thrilling distraction to our daily boredom. I have been watching them play this game (is it a game?) for weeks. It never seems to become boring, and all three of them like to play it together. Even better, it’s something they can play outside. So I guess I should like it. And I do. I think it’s harmless, childhood…

  • Missing Shawn

    The Bookshelf

    I stood there staring at the bookshelf for a long time before I started. I’m not quite sure why. The bookshelf stood in an infrequently used part of the basement, next to the printer and the filing cabinet and bins of old magna-tiles. I could delay organizing it because I didn’t need access to it on a daily basis, and so that is what I had done. It stood there, crammed with books and memorabilia and all sort of other things that Shawn had once owned. And I let it collect dust over the months – and then years – since his death. I’m not totally sure why I waited…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley smiles as she hugs her son
    Missing Shawn

    I Guess This Is What Healing Looks Like

    High schools are not exactly the kinds of places that allow for a lot of privacy. I eat in common spaces with other teachers and sometimes other students. I don’t have my own classroom, as we share them, so I can’t just close the door. The history teachers all share an office, and that office has an open-door policy. In short, whatever happens at my school is often public knowledge. When Shawn was sick, it was useful, in a way, that everyone knew that I was constantly on the phone with doctors. Everyone knew that my kids were often at school with me early in the morning. Everyone knew that…

  • Missing Shawn

    That Super Bowl Google Ad

    Were you watching the Super Bowl last night? If you were, did you see that Google advertisement, the one with the old man remembering his late wife? If you saw it, did you think that it was sweet? Did you think about your own grandparents? Did you imagine that someday you would be like that old man? Well, not me. All I felt was pure, unadulterated rage. I realize this is not what the makers of this ad intended. I’m sure they wanted viewers to feel a mix of nostalgia and love when they saw it. I mean, what beautiful narration by the widower, and what amazing images of the…