• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs husband Chris at wedding
    Love and Chris

    What If It’s Better?

    One of my favorite things to do is to read fiction. After a break when the kids were babies, I started to read fiction again in 2017, the year that Shawn got sick. Obviously, when he was in the hospital, my reading was put on hold, and once he died I found I couldn’t focus long enough to do much reading of anything. But as I began to heal, I also began to read again. Nonfiction was impossible for me at first, so I stuck with beach reads and dystopian fiction, my two favorites. Once Chris and I were seriously dating, he marveled at how I could get lost in…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale marries Chris
    Love and Chris

    First Anniversary (600th blog post)

    When Chris and I first started dating, I emphatically told him that I didn’t want to get married again. At that point, it had been over two years since Shawn died, and over that time, a lot had changed. In early widowhood, I imagined that some day, I’d get remarried. In fact, this lasted for almost the entire first year after Shawn died. At that time, I wanted to get married again for no real other reason than that I wanted someone to save me from the life I was living. Save me from single parenting. Save me from being one of a few solo parents at the elementary school…

  • 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…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in the forest in Maine
    Love and Chris

    What If He Dies?

    I woke up in the dark this morning, and I was alone. I could hear Chris rustling in the next room, probably putting things in his overnight bag. He was leaving on a very early flight. His job is still based in Atlanta, and thus to Atlanta he had to go. I wasn’t fully awake yet, and so I simply laid there, listening to his quiet movements. He stepped softly, not wanting to wake me up. He loves me so much, I thought. I’m so lucky to have him, I thought. And then, in an instant, my thoughts turned. What if he dies? I thought. My heart started to race.…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in forest at her wedding
    Holidays

    Hello, 2022… (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello, 2022. Hello love stories. Hello to embracing the hard things we have to face, and laughing at the joys we get to have. I think we’ll find a lot of them this year. Hello to long runs and walks with friends, backyard barbecues with family and long adventures on bikes with Chris. We haven’t beat you yet, Covid, but we’ve learned to still have fun with you around. Hello to letting others accompany me in my grief. No one can fix it. But you can be by my side. Hello to love that I can see and share with you all. Hello to seeing (and hearing!) the love between…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale walks in woods
    Missing Shawn

    I Am Happy, Like You Wanted

    My school is a place where we celebrate everything. Christmas, Diwali, Passover….you name it. I love that we celebrate all of the many wonderful traditions that students do at home. This year, a teacher from my department decided that we should do a Day of the Dead altar, something from his culture. He invited us all to participate by bringing a framed photo of a dead loved one, as well as an object that person loved. The display was covered in orange flowers and slowly a few photos appeared. After a few days, I decided I wanted to add my own photo, so I went back to my desk to…