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

    Widowhood is Stressful. This Survey Proves It.

    It wasn’t until after Shawn died that I realized my hair had been falling out. The bald spots on my head were growing, once again. Because that’s what every newly widowed 38-year-old wants….to be bald! It was like the universe or God or something was just adding yet another “fuck you” to the list of things that could go wrong in my life. Wasn’t it bad enough that my husband had just died? Now I had to contend with a bald spot that was spreading? Stress causes me to lose my hair. (Luckily, it’s mostly in the back of my head, but sometimes the spots can get really big.) This,…

  • Man waiting at airport by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Dating

    That’s What You Look For

    I bet I think about dating more than most married women. Let me clarify – I don’t think about how I want to be dating someone else! But I do think about what it’s like for other people who are dating. Especially widows. Unlike many of my married friends, I have a number of single friends (yes, many of my single friends are widows). Plus, I have this blog where people write me about their experiences dating. And wow – I hear a lot of crazy stories. Dating is a topic that I haven’t forgotten about since I married Chris. This is a radical change from the first time I…

  • 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…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale smiles at husband Chris on wedding day
    Holidays

    You Are Us

    Two weeks ago, I texted a few friends to ask where I could get the best fresh crab meat. I told them I was making a special Valentine’s Day dinner for Chris, and I wanted it to be perfect. They were helpful, but also teased me a bit: how cute was it that I actually was fawning all over my husband on Valentine’s Day? Ah, newlywed love! I smiled at their texts, thinking about how funny it was that I was back in the stage of “new love.” Making a special Valentine’s day dinner, and thinking about it two weeks ahead of time! I try to not be too obnoxious…

  • Setting sun over path for blog about online dating for DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Dating

    “It’s a Journey”

    If there’s one thing that people love to say to widows, it’s this phrase: “It’s a journey!” I’ve heard this statement in so many different widow-related contexts, it’s hard to count. Sometimes, there’s a softness in the voice of someone saying it, as you cry and try to imagine the day when you aren’t sobbing every fifteen minutes. Sometimes, you hear it from a friend as you try to organize the many boxes of your late spouse’s stuff, a gentle reminder that you don’t have to do it all at once. But the time when people liked to say it to me the most was when I started dating. Because…

  • Blurred grocery store for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Dog Poop at the Grocery Store: A Widow Metaphor

    Last week I went to the grocery store to get some mid-week groceries. I’d just finished up a long day of teaching and I realized that I didn’t have some key ingredients for dinner so I decided to pop into my usual supermarket. It’s been hit hard by Covid absences of staff, supply chain issues, and the consistent snowstorms we are getting in January – and thus, the shelves are often a bit bare. But I figured I could get enough food for at least a few meals. The produce aisle was bleak. I stood next to an older man while we both looked at the one sad-looking head of…