• Garden at house of DC widow Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    My Garden

    I’ve always loved my garden. I love the way I can plant a tiny seed or a miniature seedling and with just a little work, it can grow into a plant that towers above my children’s heads. When the kids were really little, Shawn spent a series of weekend days digging out and building vegetable beds for me. It was a labor of love, and involved a lot of back-breaking work. I remember when he finished them and sent me a photo. There wasn’t any text with the photo, but I felt a rush of love for him when I got it. He didn’t need to write anything else, because…

  • Image of car tires to represent the flat time of DC widow Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    I Might As Well Get Cheaper Tires If My Husband Has to Be Dead

    I heard the hissing immediately. What the hell was happening? I hopped out of the car, and looked down. A woman walking her dog stopped. “It’s your tire,” she said. “It’s not good.” She wasn’t kidding. There was a 2-inch slit in my tire and it was completely flat. “Shit, shit, shit!” I said, staring at the tire. Austin’s baseball game was starting in 5 minutes. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a 2-hour second grade baseball game with a 4-year-old in tow, but at least it gave me time. I walked up to the game. “My tire is flat,” I told the parents who had assembled for the game.…

  • Redwood tree similar to that used in Marjorie Brimley's EMDR image in therapy after becoming a widow
    New Perspectives


    I got together with one of my widow friends the other day (yes, that’s a thing) and we started talking about all of the crazy types of therapy we’ve both tried. Of course, we both have individual therapists (I’ve been through three) and group therapy (we’d each tried a few.) She told me about a “grief yoga” group she attended. I talked about the crazy “mindfulness and grief” group I went to that was not a terrible idea in theory but that I had to leave in practice once people started crying about their dead dogs. Of all of them, I found the spousal loss group I did at the…

  • Claire writing about her mom, DC widow Marjorie Brimley, being her hero

    Claire’s Hero

    At the start of fourth grade, Claire came home with an assignment to write about her hero. “I picked you!” she announced to me. She then spent much of the afternoon finding a photo that she liked of me and writing about why I was her hero. It was really sweet and touching. My kid – the one who’s just on the cusp of being a tween – still thinks her mama is awesome, at least some of the time. As she was working on it, I sat down next to her to see what she’d written. “My mom is a brave courageous person,” it said. “My mother inspires me…

  • DC widow Marjorie Brimley at her husband's gravesite
    Missing Shawn

    Falling Trees

    It was the first day of Sunday school yesterday, and my children happily went to their classrooms which meant I had 45 uninterrupted minutes to drink coffee and talk to other adults. I hadn’t been to church in a while and so the time passed quickly as I caught up with all my friends. Soon it was almost time to go get the kids. All of the sudden I heard a loud noise and the power went out. “I’m going to get my kids right now,” I said to my friend Kristin. “I’ll go get the big kids and you get the little kids,” she said. I went downstairs, but…

  • Marjorie Brimley and her daughter running through a fountain in DC after Shawn's death
    New Perspectives


    Last week, I was hanging out at school with one of the art teachers. He was asking about my summer, and I told him that I really hadn’t had much fun. “I just want to have FUN again, you know?” He nodded along in agreement, although I think it was fairly impossible for him to imagine what life has been like for me lately. It hasn’t been fun. It seems like everything I’ve done lately has been for my children, and that all of my free time has been taken up with the annoyances of running a home by myself – finances, yard work, permission slips and the like. So…