• City and people for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Dating With Kids

    I’ve talked so much about dating as a widow that it’s strange that I haven’t written much about dating and kids. When I have written on this topic, it’s usually about how to date with small kids. Here’s an excerpt from a piece I wrote that’s titled, “Could My Date Be a Father to My Kids?“ Once I started dating, I found that I would very quickly move from “do I want to kiss this guy?” to “could he be a father to my children?” That made dating really difficult. I’m not a total idiot, so I didn’t say these sorts of things out loud on a first or second…

  • 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…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale draws on porch in Colombia
    New Perspectives

    The Power of Yet

    The thing about moving to another country is that everything seems hard – going to the grocery store, trying to talk to the guy in the elevator, paying for something in cash – and it’s doubly hard with kids in tow. We’ve been in Colombia for about a month now, and while some things have gotten easier, every single day I’m pretty exhausted by the time dinner rolls around. Of course, I have plenty to be grateful for, but also…it’s just a lot. Take school. The kids are going to a bilingual school, so many of the parents speak English, and yet the text threads that I’m on for each…

  • Grandpa Tom buys strawberries for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Family & Friends

    Happy Birthday, Grandpa Tom

    Some people say that I’m the most optimistic person that they know. But that’s not really true. That award should go to my dad. I mean, sure, he can get all fired up over some story he reads in the news or some call in a Texas football game. He can be grumpy or frustrated. He has other emotions. And yet, my dad exudes a kind of optimism that is contagious. Even when he’s grumpy, he is so joyfully grumpy. “Aren’t we lucky?” he often said to me as a kid, often in circumstances when I felt bored, annoyed or something that amounted to less than lucky. “Aren’t we lucky…

  • People in coffeeshop for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow,  Dating

    Ask a Widow: No One Is Ready

    How do you know that you’re ready to date after loss? It’s one of the most common questions I get. In fact, just the other day, I got this (edited) email from a widow who had recently become interested in someone new. It had been about 18 months after the death of her husband. It left her with some conflicting feelings: I mean, I really like the guy, but my emotions can go overboard – I grieve, I like him as a friend, I want him as a boyfriend, I just want him as a friend, etc. This is tiring me out and I don’t know how to manage. Maybe…

  • Sunrise for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    A Countdown Calendar for Grief?

    Sometimes, I just can’t believe what I find on Google. The other day, I was trying to look up something for a blog post, and so I googled, “widowhood.” My eyes scanned over the first few hits, and one really stood out to me. The title of the article was, “First year of widowhood most harmful to mental health, according to a sample of over 70,000 middle aged women.” It’s an awkward title. But it made me think. And what I thought was, well no shit. I mean, of course the first year of widowhood is the most harmful to mental health, at least compared to the years that follow.…