• Desk with books for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    It’s Not Too Late to Say “I’m Sorry”

    About six months after Shawn died, I stood up at a staff meeting. It was the end of school, and we were gathered for staff week, trying to encourage each other as we ended the school year. It was a school year that I had mostly missed, both because I was out on leave and because once I returned, I was emotionally not always there even when I had been physically present. I was limping towards the finish line. “I want to say thank you,” I said. “When I came back after Shawn died, so many of you supported me. So many of you came up to me in the…

  • Holiday card of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    Holiday Cards (Part 2)

    As we put our holiday card together last month, Chris and I debated what to write on the back. We’d already decided to put “all you need is love” on the front, but we recognized that there were going to be some people who would be super confused when they got our card. For my friends, who was this new guy on the front? And (maybe even more confusing) for Chris’s friends, who was this woman and these three kids with him? So, on the back we wrote the following: Not sure who one (or four) of the people on this card are? Drop us a line. We can talk…

  • Bike near water for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    I’m Not a “Bike Widow”

    Chris is an avid cyclist, and the other day he was texting with a friend who rides bikes with him. They were trying to plan a long ride at some point, and Chris told his friend that he needed to check with me first, since an entire Saturday morning was a long time to be away from me and the kids. In jest, his friend texted back, “better that she find out now that she’s going to be a bike widow every weekend!” In response, Chris texted, “since she’s an actual widow, I try not to joke about that sort of stuff.” His friend was hugely apologetic. He didn’t mean…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley holds plaque with her children
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Legacy (Part 1)

    I get a number of private messages on my blog, and I try and respond when I can. Usually, there is little I can offer to grieving people except to say, “It’s terrible. Hang in there.” But every once in a while, I get a letter that really makes me think. That happened to me last week, and the reader graciously allowed me to address it publicly. Here’s an excerpt of that note, edited for privacy: My husband died two years ago. He was one of those people who was well known by many. We had hundreds of people attend his funeral and to this day, he is loved and…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley laughs with her friend
    Family & Friends

    The 5 Friends a Widow Needs

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends lately, especially because I don’t get to see them in person very often. Yes, sometimes I’ll pass someone on a walk a catch up for a moment, and yes, I do like to connect virtually. But as we all know, it’s not really the same as having a group of people gathered around your kitchen island, drinking beer and making chili and laughing about the week. I’ve also been remembering all of the support they have provided me over the past two and a half years. There are so many ways that my friends have kept me afloat that it’s hard to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with form
    Things That Suck

    Which Box Do I Check?

    Because this is a blog about my life and because I have very little shame, I’m going to let you in on a secret: I recently had laser hair removal.  I won’t go into too many details, because it’s not relevant to this blog post, but suffice to say, it’s something I did this past winter, before we were all locked down in our houses. I’m not sharing this information because I am a chronic over-sharer (although I am, and Shawn certainly was too) or because I think all widows should get laser hair removal (do what you want with your body!)  No, I’m sharing this information because of what…