• 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…

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

    The Man at the Bank

    When Chris first came to stay with us, he quickly began to realize how many things were in bad physical shape in the house. Doorknobs that fell off, holes in the wall that had never been patched, lights that didn’t work – the list was really long. He was sweet about it, but sometimes seemed concerned that I’d let things atrophy so much. In those early days, I remember thinking, good thing he doesn’t know about the other “systems” I use to run my life. The thing is, when Shawn died there were so many parts of my life that seemed to break down. In particular, I didn’t know how…

  • Two pairs of feet in bed for dating blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Yes, It’s Okay to Want to Have Sex Again (Part 2)

    Warning: This is a blog post about sex. And not just that – it’s a blog post about widows wanting to have sex again! Imagine that. A widow who actually wants to have sex. I mean, it was once one of the most taboo things ever. But we’ve moved past that point as a society, haven’t we? Right? I’d say, “of course” except that my most-read and most-commented-on blog post of all time is “Ask a Widow: Yes, It’s Okay to Want to Have Sex Again.” Want to know how many people read that post in just the last year? Over 20,000 – a number that far dwarfs any other…