• Woman typing at computer for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    When Auto-Fill Won’t Cut It

    I’ve filled out so many forms in my life. That’s part of being an adult, I suppose. But the form-filling-out got way more intense when I became a widow. When Shawn died, I seemed to need a new form for every single account I had everywhere. Sure, that made sense at the bank, but it seemed crazy to me that I needed a needed to fill out a new form (declaring my newly widowed status) for the internet company, among many others. But the worst kinds of forms were the ones I didn’t have to totally re-do. The worst kinds of forms were the drop-down menus that I had to…

  • Bar image for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Dating

    I Don’t Want Anyone to Know, But I Also Want Them to Be Happy for Me

    The title of this blog post comes from a public comment I got from a young widow who was starting to date again. She wrote me about finding someone new after losing her husband in her 20s. She told me that being with someone new felt “complicated and weird” and that she really wasn’t sure whether she’d be with this new guy for a long time or not because there were so many difficult emotional issues she was still working through. Still, she was really excited about her new boyfriend. And she wasn’t telling anyone. At the end of the note, she wrote this: “I don’t want anyone to know,…

  • Clouds and sun pushing through for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Widow Time: Chronos and Kairos

    I was talking to Chris the other day, recounting what it was like to be without a partner and have three young kids. “It was so hard,” I said, in the understatement of the year. “It was endless, too. I mean, I was just always alone, always a single parent and a single person.” Chris paused, and seemed to be thinking. He does this when he wants to disagree with me, just a little, but hopes to do it in a thoughtful way. He noted that, actually, I’d only been totally alone for less than three years. He’d moved in about 2 1/2 years after Shawn died. Sure, some of…

  • Bedside table for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    New Perspectives

    What If My Grief Is Over?

    I love running in the pre-dawn hours. Yes, it’s dark. And yes, it’s often cold. But it’s the time when I’ve done some of my best thinking. For a long time, I thought through my blog posts on those solitary runs. Once Chris started joining me, we would sometimes talk about my blog and I would think out loud about what was coming up next. Last week, as I set out on a run with Chris, I told him I was struggling with what to write. This happens sometimes. I mean, it didn’t happen at all for the first 18 months of widowhood because things were so chaotic and hard.…

  • Microphone for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Missing Shawn

    What If?

    I teach the only International Relations class at my school, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months listening to the news. I am a particular fan of podcasts, because I can also cook or clean or do other tasks while I listen. And right now, all I’m listening to is one news analysis after another, particularly around the war in Ukraine. Did Putin miscalculate? What do we know about Zelensky? How are refugees faring? I like listening to podcasts, because I like knowing about the world and because – like many people – I find it hard to look away from what’s happening in Ukraine.…

  • Outline of human head with pins for blog post by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    The Disorder of Prolonged Grief – Does It Make Sense?

    For those of you who are grieving, I’m sure you’ve heard about the newest update from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). It’s news that maybe made you feel relieved…or maybe made you furious. Grief, it seems, is now a disorder. Okay, fine, it’s not always identified as a disorder. But last week, as the New York Times reported, the APA added “prolonged grief” to its diagnostic manual. I decided to take a look at what this meant, so I went to the APA directly. Prolonged grief, as they define it, happens when a person experiences “intense longings for the deceased or preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased” a year after…