• Door to school for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    It Is a Lie

    I knew I had to tell my children, as they’d find out from their friends eventually. I knew I needed to tell them quickly and in a way that made them feel safe. I would keep it simple, tell them only the basic facts. Yes, there was a shooting at an elementary school. Yes, children died. Yes, it is very, very sad. No, they don’t need to worry about their own safety. And so I did just that. I thought I was doing a good job until Tommy looked up at me with his big eyes and said very slowly, “why?” It broke me. Claire, in her typical reaction, immediately…

  • Sons of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Things That Remain: Fear (Part 2 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. Here’s one of my dark little secrets: Every morning, as I kiss my kids goodbye and watch them leave the house for school, one thought always enters my head: I hope they don’t die. I know – what a morbid thing to think! I don’t know if I ever worried about this before Shawn died, but I know it was a bit of an obsession of mine after he died. I knew I would be broken without my children and even though I tried not to think…

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

    Things That Remain: Guilt (Part 1 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. “We didn’t get the Hallmark goodbye.” I hear this a lot from my widowed friends, and I get it. Sure, I suppose there are times when couples do get that moment, just before someone dies, when they are able to express all of the love between them. I mean, it must happen sometimes, right? That’s how it happens in the movies! So when you lose someone to an accident or suicide or heart attack – or any other relatively instantaneous loss – it can feel especially unfair.…

  • Clouds and sun pushing through for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Widow Time: Chronos and Kairos

    I was talking to Chris the other day, recounting what it was like to be without a partner and have three young kids. “It was so hard,” I said, in the understatement of the year. “It was endless, too. I mean, I was just always alone, always a single parent and a single person.” Chris paused, and seemed to be thinking. He does this when he wants to disagree with me, just a little, but hopes to do it in a thoughtful way. He noted that, actually, I’d only been totally alone for less than three years. He’d moved in about 2 1/2 years after Shawn died. Sure, some of…

  • Outline of human head with pins for blog post by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    The Disorder of Prolonged Grief – Does It Make Sense?

    For those of you who are grieving, I’m sure you’ve heard about the newest update from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). It’s news that maybe made you feel relieved…or maybe made you furious. Grief, it seems, is now a disorder. Okay, fine, it’s not always identified as a disorder. But last week, as the New York Times reported, the APA added “prolonged grief” to its diagnostic manual. I decided to take a look at what this meant, so I went to the APA directly. Prolonged grief, as they define it, happens when a person experiences “intense longings for the deceased or preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased” a year after…

  • Blurred grocery store for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Dog Poop at the Grocery Store: A Widow Metaphor

    Last week I went to the grocery store to get some mid-week groceries. I’d just finished up a long day of teaching and I realized that I didn’t have some key ingredients for dinner so I decided to pop into my usual supermarket. It’s been hit hard by Covid absences of staff, supply chain issues, and the consistent snowstorms we are getting in January – and thus, the shelves are often a bit bare. But I figured I could get enough food for at least a few meals. The produce aisle was bleak. I stood next to an older man while we both looked at the one sad-looking head of…