• Claire Brimley daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale speaks at wedding
    Parenting

    Claire’s Wedding Speech

    Below is a speech given my 12-year-old daughter, Claire, at our wedding. She told me months beforehand that she wanted to say something, but she wanted it to be a surprise to all the guests. She also wanted to surprise her dad, Chris. At the reception, she stood up in front of everyone, without any fear, and gave this final toast. For a long time it was just my mom and my two younger brothers, Austin and Tommy. But a year and a half ago, that changed when Chris – my dad! – came into our lives.  Of course, he wasn’t my dad right away. He was just my mom’s…

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

    Share Joy

    For the entire week leading up to our wedding, I couldn’t sleep. I was so nervous. When I’d toss and turn at night, Chris would wake up and comfort me. “I’m not nervous about being married to you!” I’d say each time, because that was true and I wanted to make sure he knew it. I told him that I wasn’t totally sure why I was feeling so nervous, which was also true, though I tried to figure it out. Maybe it was the stage fright, maybe it was throwing a wedding during Covid, maybe it was just all the last-minute logistics. I never really figured it out. But damn,…

  • Wedding car for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    If My Wedding is Cancelled, Then I Can Make Jury Duty

    I came home a few days ago to a letter in the mail with the dreaded “official jury summons” stamp across the front. I sighed and picked it up. I guess it was time to me to have jury duty again. The last time I’d gone, in fact, was just a few weeks after Shawn died. Here’s part of what I wrote that day, from one of my oldest blog posts, Chuck E. Cheese and Jury Duty: It’s 8:30 am and I’m sitting with 200 of my fellow DC residents, waiting to be called for jury duty. My friends all thought I should defer, that coming to jury duty would…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley after engagement
    Love and Chris

    Someday, I’ll Watch Him Die (500th Blog Post)

    “I’m so sorry,” the clerk said, handing the papers back to me, “but this won’t work. It’s a copy, and we need the original death certificate in order to issue you a marriage license.” She nodded sympathetically as I sighed. My heart sank. I knew it wasn’t a big deal, really, because we still had time to get all the paperwork together. I knew that part of marriage is just getting the contract in order, and that had nothing to do with love. I knew we could eventually get everything sorted. I was still totally overwhelmed in that moment. We’d come to the town hall in Chris’s hometown in Maine,…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley in wedding dress
    New Perspectives

    We Are Everywhere

    I went to try on wedding dresses the other day and the craziest thing happened. I mean, let’s be clear, I kinda thought, “maybe trying on wedding dresses will be the subject of a blog post” because there was bound to be something that came up as a young widow, wasn’t there? But mostly, I was just excited that I could go with my dear friends Becky and Michelle – the same friends who’d been there when my kids were babies and planned Shawn’s funeral and helped me through the terrible early years of widowhood and actively encouraged me to date and shrieked with joy the night Chris and I…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at wedding
    Love and Chris

    Weddings and Other Complicated Endeavors

    When Shawn and I got married, almost six years had passed since my mother’s death. I was 25, bright-eyed and excited about the future, in a dress with a skirt so big it looked like something a barbie doll might wear. It was a great weekend, and every single one of my extended family members showed up. The rehearsal dinner was held in the backyard of my childhood home. We got tables from somewhere (maybe the church?) and my sister put candles in bowls filled with rice like she’d once seen at a bar. A local chef cooked for us, and then – one by one – each of my…