• guitar and hands for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    Witness Something Special

    I love and hate September. It’s the same every year. I look forward to the excitement of school starting, the promise of leaves changing to bright oranges and reds, and the feeling of hope in the air. But September also means the end of summer, the end of lazy mornings, and the end of popsicles and watermelon at the pool. For me, September also brings late night lesson planning and early morning lunch packing and – this year – a wedding. It’s a lot of change. A few weeks ago, as September began, Chris and I decided that we needed a night away from home, just the two of us.…

  • Tulip for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: What to Say to a New Widow

    Right after Shawn died, a colleague of his contacted me. He wanted to express his condolences, but also let me know that his wife was available to talk to me, if I wanted. She had been widowed before they met, and though it had been years, she might be able to help me. He was right. Though we only spoke once – maybe two weeks after Shawn died – she helped me see that people can recover from loss. She didn’t tell me how to grieve or how to heal, but she showed me a path forward, even though I don’t think she knew that she was doing that. So…

  • Wedding car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    If My Wedding is Cancelled, Then I Can Make Jury Duty

    I came home a few days ago to a letter in the mail with the dreaded “official jury summons” stamp across the front. I sighed and picked it up. I guess it was time to me to have jury duty again. The last time I’d gone, in fact, was just a few weeks after Shawn died. Here’s part of what I wrote that day, from one of my oldest blog posts, Chuck E. Cheese and Jury Duty: It’s 8:30 am and I’m sitting with 200 of my fellow DC residents, waiting to be called for jury duty. My friends all thought I should defer, that coming to jury duty would…

  • Pink heart and heartbeat for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    You’ll Survive

    When I was a kid and I’d fall and scrape my knee or get the stomach flu, my parents would comfort me, because that’s what parents do. But they had different approaches to this. My mother was a very gentle person, someone who worried a lot about my sister and me, and she would gingerly pat my cut dry or give me a cool washcloth. I have such embodied memories of her touch, especially when I was sick, and how it felt to have her sit next to me and comb her fingers through my hair. Every time, it soothed me. My father was not like this. As any child…

  • Bread made by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Shawn’s Birthday, Year 4

    I bake at least four loaves of bread every week. I know, it may seem excessive, but I’ve got three kids! Still, that’s not really the reason I bake so much bread. Mostly, I do it because I love it. I haven’t always baked bread like I do now. I learned how to do it in my 20s, but it was a “special event” sort of thing, something I did maybe once or twice a year. I didn’t have any special equipment or techniques (I used Jim Lahey’s no-knead recipe) and mostly, I just bought our bread at the grocery store. Shawn used to love it when I made homemade…

  • Light for blog post by Marjorie Brimley DC widow writer
    Holidays

    To Read on Memorial Day

    Every year around this time, there’s a pause to remember those we’ve lost in service to our country. I’m never quite sure what to do about this day, as I feel such a connection to any widow, but I also know that military widows have other layers to their loss that I don’t know. Today’s post are two short articles that have stuck with me. Both pieces are about widows who lost their husbands while they were serving in the US military. Shari Tolbert was a young mother and military spouse whose life was upended when her husband, Lt. Cmdr. Otis Vincent Tolbert was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.…