• Beach and ocean for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    Things That Remain: Accomplishment (Part 3 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. I sobbed the first time I tried to change the wiper fluid in my car. I didn’t know how to do it. I mean, I had just turned 39 years old for chrissakes, an age at which you should know how to do such a thing. I’d been widowed for about two months and had pulled into a gas station to get gas and clean the dirty windshield. Here’s what happened, from the blog post, “Who’s Saving Our Basement?“ I got out to clean my windshield and…

  • 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.…

  • 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.…

  • Hospital hallway for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Acts of God?

    A few weeks ago, my friend Kumar asked me to speak to a group of ministers training to do a special type of work in hospitals and prisons. Kumar is a pastor who I met years ago, and someone with whom I’ve done a variety of events. We talk a lot about grief. But we also talk a lot about life, since grief is a part of it. He wanted me to talk about what I needed when Shawn was hospitalized, and then what I needed after he died. Initially, I thought about all of the logistics – the carpool rides for the kids and the grocery runs and the…

  • Outline of human head with pins for blog post by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    The Disorder of Prolonged Grief – Does It Make Sense?

    For those of you who are grieving, I’m sure you’ve heard about the newest update from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). It’s news that maybe made you feel relieved…or maybe made you furious. Grief, it seems, is now a disorder. Okay, fine, it’s not always identified as a disorder. But last week, as the New York Times reported, the APA added “prolonged grief” to its diagnostic manual. I decided to take a look at what this meant, so I went to the APA directly. Prolonged grief, as they define it, happens when a person experiences “intense longings for the deceased or preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased” a year after…