• Picture of compass pointing to insurance for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Hypotheticals

    I have been trying to figure out what to do about some changes in my health insurance. It’s been a fun process! (If you’re American, you know that was said with great sarcasm.) I’ve spent the past couple of days calling health insurance companies to figure out what’s the best coverage for my family in the future. Yes, I can see some details on the papers they provide, but it is not enough for me. I need to talk to a person who can really understand my needs. Every time I call someone, I actually feel bad for the customer service representative who gets me. At first, I must seem…

  • Computer at table for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Why I Write

    It’s 5 am and the house is dark. The only light in the kitchen comes from the button on the dishwasher, telling me that it is now clean. The birds aren’t even up yet, but I am. I’ve been here often, in this place and at this time. It has been my writing spot for many years, especially before the sun was up. I didn’t make a conscious effort to wake up in the wee hours of the morning after Shawn died, but it often happened. I’d lay in bed for a while, tossing and turning, my mind often filled with anxiety. Were the kids okay? What was that rattle…

  • Soccer ball and cleats for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Things That Remain: Risk (Part 4 of 4)

    In this four-part series, I discuss the things that remain for me (and for some of my readers) in the years after widowhood. For many years, I convinced myself that if I just did all the right things, nothing bad would happen. I knew it was a stupid way to think. I’d lost my mom young, so I knew random horror was out there in the world. But I figured I’d had my share of bad luck already, so as long as I didn’t invite any more, life would be okay. After Shawn died, I obsessed about the unfairness of his death. Furthermore, I was irate that all the hard…

  • Beach and ocean for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Things That Remain: Accomplishment (Part 3 of 4)

    In this four-part series, I discuss the things that remain for me (and for some of my readers) in the years after widowhood. I sobbed the first time I tried to change the wiper fluid in my car. I didn’t know how to do it. I mean, I had just turned 39 years old for chrissakes, an age at which you should know how to do such a thing. I’d been widowed for about two months and had pulled into a gas station to get gas and clean the dirty windshield. Here’s what happened, from the blog post, “Who’s Saving Our Basement?“ I got out to clean my windshield and…

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

    What If My Grief Is Over?

    I love running in the pre-dawn hours. Yes, it’s dark. And yes, it’s often cold. But it’s the time when I’ve done some of my best thinking. For a long time, I thought through my blog posts on those solitary runs. Once Chris started joining me, we would sometimes talk about my blog and I would think out loud about what was coming up next. Last week, as I set out on a run with Chris, I told him I was struggling with what to write. This happens sometimes. I mean, it didn’t happen at all for the first 18 months of widowhood because things were so chaotic and hard.…

  • Shawn Brimley with children and DC widow writer Marjorie Hale in field for dream blog
    New Perspectives

    Dreams of Shawn

    I’ve always had a lot of dreams. And also a number of nightmares. When I was little, those dreams were about playgrounds and neighborhood friends. My recurring nightmare was about a mean witch who tried to cook me in a pot. As I grew, my dreams were about the good things around me (getting asked to prom by someone I liked), and my nightmares were about my fears (making a fool of myself at a school assembly). As my mom grew sicker, sometimes these nightmares were actually scary. Once she died, I often had nightmares where my dad or my sister would die too. So I guess it’s not strange…