• Three plants for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Reasonable Positivity

    Shawn always used to say that his big goal in life was to be a middle-tier bureaucrat. It made people laugh when he’d say it. Didn’t he want to be the Secretary of Defense or something? No, he’d tell everyone, he just wanted to make policy that mattered and write things other people wanted to read and play with his kids on the weekends. It’s something that I always really admired, even when his career was taking off. He didn’t need the spotlight. He also didn’t subscribe to this brand of “everything and everyone has to be the best in order to be good.” Sometimes, reaching for the middle was…

  • Woman driving car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    A Car for Our Future

    When we bought the car, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I was pregnant with Austin and I wasn’t comfortable behind the steering wheel and it was so much bigger than our previous car. But we were becoming a family of four, and we just didn’t fit easily in the other car. Or at least both carseats didn’t. And so we bought a Mazda with a third row, a car big enough to fit three car seats when the time came, a car that brought both of our boys home from the hospital, a car that took us to Canada and camping and to a zillion soccer games. It…

  • Marjorie Brimley Hale with her late husband Shawn and three kids in a field
    New Perspectives

    Grief, Not Sadness

    Some people I know have beautifully decorated, color-coordinated Christmas trees currently displayed in their houses. I am not one of those people. My tree is plastic, to start. Claire’s allergic to trees, so we had to get a plastic one many years ago, but also it was just way easier than going out to cut down a tree with three little kids. It doesn’t smell like a tree and it doesn’t really look like a tree, so my solution is to cover it with all the ornaments we have and try and hide the plastic-ness of it. I have some of the ornaments my mom once put on our tree.…

  • Claire Brimley and cousin at concert with DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Feeling Bad That It Doesn’t Feel Bad

    Three years is a strange marker in the widow world. The first year of widowhood is just about survival. It’s about figuring out how to get up every day, how to grieve and still pay the bills, how to put one foot in front of the other when you’re so tired you can’t even really think. It’s about making it through to the end of the day. Or at least it was for me. The second year feels easier for some people, and harder for others. It’s when the day-to-day life gets more manageable, and yet the intensity of the loss is still there. My second year, I had a…

  • Dancers for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Nun or Assassin? Your Guide to Widow Fashion!

    This morning, I went to my closet to try and pick out my outfit for the day. First, I looked through my assortment of nun’s habits and other floor-length gowns complete with dark veils and other things that make is very difficult to see. They have to hang on the super-strength hangers as they are heavy and velvety and smell a bit like death. But as I was thumbing through these gorgeous pieces, I wasn’t sure about my clothing choice. Was this the vibe I was going for? I turned to the other half of my closet, the part where I have all of my lace-up bustiers and leather pants…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale at her wedding with husband Chris and father Grandpa Tom
    New Perspectives

    No One’s Looking at You

    A few days before our wedding, my dad called me to chat. “Well,” he started, “I tried on my suit, but the pants have holes in them!” I laughed. My dad used to dress only in suits, but he’s gotten rid of a lot of them since he retired. “Dad, it’s time to buy a new suit!” “I don’t need a new suit!” he said. “The jacket is in good shape, and I found some pants that are just fine. They’re both blue. They’re not exactly the same color, but who cares!” I imagined my dad standing in his mismatched blue suit at the wedding. “Well, Dad, remember you’ll be…