• Grandparents and kids and cousins of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Nana and Pop

    “You made it!” We could hear Nana and Pop shouting from their driveway. Next to them stood Chris’s sister Becky, her husband Josh and their two kids. Our kids bounded out of the car, excited to finally be free. Everyone jumped up and down and hugged. “All our grandkids from DC are finally here!” Nana said, laughing with joy as she was almost tackled over by the five of them. It was a great moment, and one that almost made me cry. But before I get too into that, let me back up and explain a bit more about Chris’s parents, Nana and Pop. I’ve actually known Joanie and Billy…

  • power lines for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    To Update the Account, Part 2

    The first few months of widowhood are awful, full of deep pain, heavy anxiety and….a shit ton of paperwork. It’s actually amazing. I mean, I knew there would be some paperwork, but I had no idea that for many weeks after Shawn’s death, I’d need to devote at least 4-5 hours a day to figuring out finances and bills and forms and everything else. Did your late husband have a car he owned, one that didn’t have you on the title? Well, you’ll have to go to court for that! Yes, even if there was a will. Welcome to probate. I am grateful that I had resources to go to…

  • Tommy in yard of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    The View From Across the Street

    Our house is on a funny corner in DC. The way that it’s situated, we have a lot more interactions with the people behind us than we do with the people in front of us. I have almost daily exchanges with the neighbors behind us – we have kids with similar ages, and throughout the years (and especially this pandemic) our children have played together in the alley. That alley behind our house is where Tommy learned to ride his bike as the neighbors cheered him on; it’s the place Austin went every day after school to play and eat dinner with his friend Grant’s family; it’s the alley where…

  • Claire daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley dyes eggs
    Holidays

    Easter Joy

    For the past four years, Easter has been an important marker in my life. Maybe it’s because in my faith and in my family, Easter is a time of joy – and joy is something that hasn’t always been so easy to grasp since Shawn died. Even as the trees turned pink with flowers and the purple-red buds of the peonies peeked above the ground, even as there was hope and life everywhere and even as I heard the church sermons that proclaimed joy for this time of year – well, even then, I couldn’t always embrace the idea that joy was all around me. The first Easter I celebrated…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley next to barn
    Family & Friends

    FaceTime with my Family

    “Tell Chris the family loves him.” It was a text from my dad, something that might not seem like a lot, but from my dad, it was a big deal. My father is a man who is loyal to the people around him, and who loves me and my sister and his grandkids so much, but he is also someone who doesn’t always express that emotion so readily in writing. His birthday cards to me always say something like, “Enjoy your birthday. Love, Dad.” My dad is obviously not unfeeling or unsentimental – on the contrary, he’s been devoted to our family for the entirety of his life. First, to…

  • Austin Brimley son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley wades through ocean
    Family & Friends

    I Am From

    A few weeks ago, Austin came downstairs and wanted my help editing a poem he wrote. “It’s for school,” he said. Their class had read the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon and he was supposed to write his story – the story of his life – in a similar style. The kids were all working on a shared document, so we could see what his classmates had written. As you may imagine, there was a lot of discussion of favorite sports and playing with siblings and other fourth grade interests. On the first line, Austin had written a bit about being from “mom and dad,” but he…