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

    Widowhood is Stressful. This Survey Proves It.

    It wasn’t until after Shawn died that I realized my hair had been falling out. The bald spots on my head were growing, once again. Because that’s what every newly widowed 38-year-old wants….to be bald! It was like the universe or God or something was just adding yet another “fuck you” to the list of things that could go wrong in my life. Wasn’t it bad enough that my husband had just died? Now I had to contend with a bald spot that was spreading? Stress causes me to lose my hair. (Luckily, it’s mostly in the back of my head, but sometimes the spots can get really big.) This,…

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

    A Countdown Calendar for Grief?

    Sometimes, I just can’t believe what I find on Google. The other day, I was trying to look up something for a blog post, and so I googled, “widowhood.” My eyes scanned over the first few hits, and one really stood out to me. The title of the article was, “First year of widowhood most harmful to mental health, according to a sample of over 70,000 middle aged women.” It’s an awkward title. But it made me think. And what I thought was, well no shit. I mean, of course the first year of widowhood is the most harmful to mental health, at least compared to the years that follow.…

  • 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…