• 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…

  • Bar image for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Dating

    I Don’t Want Anyone to Know, But I Also Want Them to Be Happy for Me

    The title of this blog post comes from a public comment I got from a young widow who was starting to date again. She wrote me about finding someone new after losing her husband in her 20s. She told me that being with someone new felt “complicated and weird” and that she really wasn’t sure whether she’d be with this new guy for a long time or not because there were so many difficult emotional issues she was still working through. Still, she was really excited about her new boyfriend. And she wasn’t telling anyone. At the end of the note, she wrote this: “I don’t want anyone to know,…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, Claire, hugs her
    Holidays

    Today, You Get the Ring

    Many years ago, my grandmother’s grandmother turned 13. On that day, her father took her into town via horse and buggy, and bought her a tiny little ring, just perfect for her hand. I do not know her name, and I am not even sure if it was actually my grandmother’s grandmother, or someone even further back than that, or merely my grandmother’s mother. I only had the story told to me once, on my 13th birthday. On that day, I didn’t just hear the story. I also got the ring. My mom gave it to me. She had gotten it from her mother on her 13th birthday, and her…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale walks in woods on wedding day
    Parenting

    Benefits and Responsibilities

    The first thing that happened in our Zoom adoption hearing was that Tommy accidentally knocked over the computer and sent it tumbling to the floor. We recovered the computer and apologized to the judge and everyone laughed. It was family court, after all. We’d been looking forward to our adoption date for months at that point. I say “our” adoption date, but really, I had nothing to do with it other than signing a paper saying that I agreed with Chris’s adoption of the kids. He was the one who had to do all the background checks and financial statements and letters of intent and interviews with the lawyer. Mostly,…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale looks out over view of lake
    Parenting

    Where I Want to Be

    The night was like any other. It was raining. I made a roast chicken. We said grace, something about loving one another, and Austin told us about trying out for the school play. Afterwards, Chris and I lingered at the table, talking about life and love and everyday stuff. Eventually, he started to do the dishes as we had a drink and listened to Chris Stapleton. Claire wandered down. She needed help with her Spanish homework. The three of us started to talk. I was trying to figure out what to write for my blog post this week, and I asked Chris and Claire for some ideas. Chris turned to…

  • The two dads, Shawn and Chris, for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    Three Kids, Two Dads

    These days, everyone in our community is used to hearing Claire, Austin and Tommy call Chris, “Dad.” But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, for the first year he was in their lives, they called him “Chris.” He didn’t ever ask them to call him anything else, and they didn’t think to do it. It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 when Claire first decided to call Chris, “Dad.” I wrote about it in the blog post, Ask a Widow: How Do Your Kids Think About Their (Dead) Dad When They Have a (New, Alive) Dad?: Over the past few months, Claire went from calling Chris by his name…