• 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.…

  • Bar image for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale

    I Don’t Want Anyone to Know, But I Also Want Them to Be Happy for Me

    The title of this blog post comes from a public comment I got from a young widow who was starting to date again. She wrote me about finding someone new after losing her husband in her 20s. She told me that being with someone new felt “complicated and weird” and that she really wasn’t sure whether she’d be with this new guy for a long time or not because there were so many difficult emotional issues she was still working through. Still, she was really excited about her new boyfriend. And she wasn’t telling anyone. At the end of the note, she wrote this: “I don’t want anyone to know,…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale with their son Tommy before wedding and adoption
    Love and Chris

    Kids of His Own

    About two years ago, when Chris and I first started talking on the phone during the early days of the pandemic, I worried about one thing above all others: What if he wanted kids of his own? He obviously knew that I had three kids already, but did he get what that truly meant? Did he understand how much work it was for me already? Did he know how I felt about the prospect of having more kids? I didn’t wait long to breach the topic with him. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of, “just so you know, I don’t want…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • Microphone for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Missing Shawn

    What If?

    I teach the only International Relations class at my school, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months listening to the news. I am a particular fan of podcasts, because I can also cook or clean or do other tasks while I listen. And right now, all I’m listening to is one news analysis after another, particularly around the war in Ukraine. Did Putin miscalculate? What do we know about Zelensky? How are refugees faring? I like listening to podcasts, because I like knowing about the world and because – like many people – I find it hard to look away from what’s happening in Ukraine.…