• Austin and Chris walk in street for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    What Would He Be Like?

    My kids like to ask questions that surprise me. They’re much more curious about illness and death and things like guardianship papers than most other kids their age, so I’m used to tough questions. We talk about what happens when people die, how adults plan for death and what it means to die young. You’d think I’d be prepared for every question, and yet, they still continue to surprise me. The other day, we were sitting around the dinner table talking about what would happen to them if Chris and I died. (They really want the specifics. I get it. It’s a possibility they know exists in the world.) Chris…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs husband Chris at wedding
    Love and Chris

    What If It’s Better?

    One of my favorite things to do is to read fiction. After a break when the kids were babies, I started to read fiction again in 2017, the year that Shawn got sick. Obviously, when he was in the hospital, my reading was put on hold, and once he died I found I couldn’t focus long enough to do much reading of anything. But as I began to heal, I also began to read again. Nonfiction was impossible for me at first, so I stuck with beach reads and dystopian fiction, my two favorites. Once Chris and I were seriously dating, he marveled at how I could get lost in…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale marries Chris
    Love and Chris

    First Anniversary (600th blog post)

    When Chris and I first started dating, I emphatically told him that I didn’t want to get married again. At that point, it had been over two years since Shawn died, and over that time, a lot had changed. In early widowhood, I imagined that some day, I’d get remarried. In fact, this lasted for almost the entire first year after Shawn died. At that time, I wanted to get married again for no real other reason than that I wanted someone to save me from the life I was living. Save me from single parenting. Save me from being one of a few solo parents at the elementary school…

  • Husband and daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale read a book together
    Parenting

    Parent 2 (Part 2)

    In the early days of widowhood, sometimes the smallest things would make me cry. In fact, I have a very vivid memory of sobbing the first time I filled out a form for one of the kids and realized that there was no father to go in the “Parent 2” slot. Obviously, I had to do this a number of times over the next few years, and it did get easier. I started writing “No Parent 2” in the slot, though sometimes I’d get auto-replies that said things like, “Hello Marjorie Brimley and No Parent 2!” I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. That fall after Shawn died, I…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs friend Michelle at night
    New Perspectives

    I’m a Widow. You’d Think I’d Be Better at Doing Hard Things. I’m Not.

    I’m about to do something really hard. And I’m a tiny bit nervous. Okay, I’m more than a tiny bit nervous. If I’m being honest, I’m legitimately anxious about this next step. It’s a big, hard step. And doing hard things is scary. It’s not like I’ve never done hard things. I lived with a mentally ill mother who died by suicide. And then I got married and had three kids and then my husband died. And then I dealt with everything that widowhood brings. And I survived it. I even found love again. Which was wonderful…and also, it was sometimes scary. Any big changes can be scary, I know…

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

    Along the Coastline

    The music was loud and the wind whipped through the car as we drove north. Chris and I had dropped our kids at overnight camp in Maine and had a weekend to ourselves. The scenery, especially as we neared the border, was spectacular. We were in Eastport (“Easternmost city in the United States!“) and it seemed that all that was ahead of us was the sea and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “Shawn always said Nova Scotia was the most beautiful place in the world,” I said to Chris. “He wanted to take me there. But I can’t imagine it being more beautiful than this.” “Well,…