• Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in the ocean
    Family & Friends

    Let’s Make Light As a Family

    The kids cried when we told them we were moving to Colombia. They didn’t want to leave their friends, their rooms, their toys and their extended family. They didn’t know Spanish and they didn’t know the culture of Colombia. They didn’t want to live in an apartment and they didn’t want to eat arepas for the next year. (They now love arepas.) But we had made a decision, and slowly, they all came around to it. We did offer one carrot – we promised them that once we got to Colombia and had been there for a month, we would all take a trip to the beach. A few weeks…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in forest at her wedding
    Holidays

    Hello, 2022… (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello, 2022. Hello love stories. Hello to embracing the hard things we have to face, and laughing at the joys we get to have. I think we’ll find a lot of them this year. Hello to long runs and walks with friends, backyard barbecues with family and long adventures on bikes with Chris. We haven’t beat you yet, Covid, but we’ve learned to still have fun with you around. Hello to letting others accompany me in my grief. No one can fix it. But you can be by my side. Hello to love that I can see and share with you all. Hello to seeing (and hearing!) the love between…

  • Family of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale at her wedding
    Holidays

    Other People’s Joy

    Joy! It’s the word I see everywhere this time of year, a sentiment (“joy!”) that I loved so much before widowhood and yet it was the one word that drove me completely crazy after Shawn died. Why was everyone insisting that I feel joy, just because the calendar was turned to the December page? It was maddening. And yet, I also wanted to feel that joy. I wanted it…and I couldn’t find it. What did that mean? The first year of widowhood, I went through at least a hundred holiday cards, looking for one that didn’t say, “The Merriest Time of Year!” or some similar sentiment. As I wrote in…

  • Family children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale run in field
    Holidays

    Old Places, New Meanings

    There is a farm where the earth is flat and the grass is brown this time of year, but the fireplace is so warm that it’s hard to stay awake next to it. Up above, the birds fly in large flocks, and even when I’m out on a long run, I can see the house in the distance, glowing. The house is old and creaky, with pipes that mostly work and bookshelves that hold generations of memories. It is a place where you can curl up with a blanket all afternoon, just like we both have done over the years. It is a place that I have loved for many…

  • Thanksgiving food for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    The Top 5 Reasons Thanksgiving Can Really Blow for Widows

    For years and years, whenever anyone would ask me what my favorite holiday was, I’d reply, “Thanksgiving!” It’s true. I’ve always loved gathering with family and friends, cooking all day and staying up late telling stories. In fact, for much of the first decade of our marriage, Shawn and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house every year. Usually we had at least 25 people, and sometimes many more. It was always one of my favorite days of the year. Even once we pared down our celebration and sometimes traveled to be with family and friends, it was still the holiday that I looked forward to more than any other. But…

  • 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…