• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at cemetery where her husband is buried
    Things That Suck

    Good Riddance 2018…. (Part 1 of 2)

    Good riddance 2018. Good riddance latex gloves, alcohol swabs, shower chairs, needles. Good riddance nightmares. Good riddance shower floor, where I often sat when I was too exhausted to do anything else but let the water pour down my back. Good riddance probate. Good riddance Zofran, 5FU, morphine and Ativan. Good riddance estate tax return with your stupid requirements to produce a statement of every account we had the day Shawn died. Good riddance exhaustion and subsequent unplanned naps in living room chairs. Good riddance crying in public.  Not forever, but just during those times when I’d like to hold it together. Good riddance documents I had to sign saying…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley and family at children's baptisms
    Missing Shawn


    The pastor was talking about Jesus, and my mind was wandering. Sometimes, in the middle of a service, I find myself immersed in whatever is happening at the front. The music or the sermon or the prayers can whisk me away into a place where I’m totally focused on whatever it is we are doing in that moment. I love those times in church. They feel the most holy to me. But I was in a new church with my extended family over the holidays, and the pastor at the front wasn’t one I knew. He was engaging but I wasn’t fully listening. Still, I liked how he was talking…

  • Fries like those eaten by DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley on Christmas
    Things That Suck

    Sweet Potato Fries

    The morning of Shawn’s funeral, I went to put on the one black skirt I had, and it literally fell off my body. I hadn’t realized until that point how much weight I had lost over the previous six weeks. My sister helped pin the skirt on me, and told me that really, it didn’t look that bad. “No one will notice,” she said. She was trying to be comforting, but it was probably true. No one was going to care what I was wearing. Including me. I hadn’t been able to eat much at all throughout Shawn’s hospital stay. At times, I was outright banned from eating in his…

  • Christmas presents like the ones delivered to the house of DC Widow Marjorie Brimley and family

    Christmas Eve

    A few days ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw someone complaining that her child had just radically changed his Christmas list.  “He wants a dozen laser tag guns now!  And I just finished all of the wrapping!” the person whined. I get it.  These small details can be annoying when we have a million things going on.  But do you know what it made me realize? At that point, five days before Christmas, I had purchased just one present for each of my children.  ONE. Last year it wasn’t like this at all.  I planned ahead and bought most of my presents in November, so when Shawn was…

  • DC Widow Marjorie Brimley speaking at CNAS event for Shawn

    Just Because Your Husband Dies, You Don’t Necessarily Get the Job

    I’ve mentioned it in other posts, but just in case you haven’t been following along closely: I applied for a new job at my school last month.   I found out last Friday that I didn’t get it. To her credit, the principal told me herself.  She didn’t beat around the bush, and she was thoughtful in the way that she told me. But those words, “we don’t have a position for you at this time,” almost crushed me in that moment.  I understood that there were a dozen people applying for the same job, but I thought I had a good shot.  And somewhere in the back of my mind…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley in their house in DC before cancer
    Family & Friends

    Salsa in my Cup

    Two years ago, Shawn and I threw a party that was particularly crazy. We didn’t really mean for the party to get so wild.  We just wanted to have a few friends over to celebrate the year and toast our successes, failures, and ability to have merely survived.  As I remember, we were still reeling from the 2016 election, because that was the election that was supposed to have meant a big, important job for Shawn and ultimately didn’t pan out that way.  Instead, we threw a party. Somehow, we all had way too much wine, in the way that you can when you aren’t really trying to have too…