• Join or Die banner in DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's house
    Things That Suck


    I could tell about halfway through my run this morning that I was going to have to quit early. It happens sometimes. I think I’m okay, and then running puts me into this zen-like place where I start pondering the big questions in my life. And then the tears come. Sometimes I can run through them. Sometimes I can slow down, and lean against the side of the treadmill and breathe and then start again. But this time I had to stop. I saw the fat tears drop on my shoes and I gave into my sadness. The tears were not about Shawn. Well, they weren’t exclusively about Shawn. I…

  • Hand writing a letter to DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley and her daughter
    Family & Friends

    The Letter

    The letter arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.  It was addressed to me.  Inside, I found two notes from an old friend of Shawn’s – someone he knew in university who we’d kept up with over the years. “I wrote a note to Claire,” the first note said, “and I want you to look over it and see if it’s okay for her to read.” I opened up the next piece of paper.  Inside was a 2-page typed letter addressed to my daughter.  “Dear Claire,” it began, “You might not remember me, but I have heard about you since you were born. Your father Shawn and I were…

  • DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley with late husband Shawn Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Young Love

    I was flying to the Cayman Islands to take a break from my life.  It was just after Christmas, and the plane was filled with people vacationing.  I located my seat, and then I saw the people sitting next to me – a really young couple who were holding hands. I took a deep breath and sat down.  I’ve written before about how hard it can be at times to hang out with my happily married friends.  But a newly in-love couple….well, that’s a whole other ball game. “Hi!” the girl said in the happiest voice I’d heard in a long time.  She was darling, and so was the boy…

  • DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley hugs her daughter Claire
    New Perspectives

    The Spelling Bee

    “The word is ‘universe,’” the judge said clearly. Claire took a deep breath.  “Universe.  U….n…i…” she paused for a second, and then started drawing the letters in the air.  “V….e…r…s…e.  Universe.” “That’s correct,” the judge said.  Claire smiled, and walked quickly back to her seat. I waved at her as she sat down and she gave me a big smile.  She’d made it through round 2 of her school’s spelling bee.  I didn’t sign Claire up for the spelling bee.  I think she told me about it a month ago, but I promptly forgot.  I mean, like I need one more thing to worry about.  But then the day before…

  • DC widow Marjorie Brimley with her three children
    New Perspectives


    At the end of last year, I got on a shuttle bus at the airport with my kids and my dad.  Tommy sat with my dad and I sat with Claire and Austin.  We were on our way to Texas and everyone was really excited. At the next stop, another family got on.  It was a mom, a dad and two kids.  They sat together and the parents chatted happily with the kids.  To most outside observers, the scene was nothing out of the ordinary.  But it struck me how much watching them bothered me.  They were the family I was supposed to have. I’m sure they didn’t think much…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's pregnant belly with Shawn's child
    Missing Shawn

    Across the Doctor’s Office

    Almost daily, someone asks me why I decided to write this blog. Here’s the response I usually give: In the beginning it was a way for me to connect with my loved ones and get my feelings out into the open. But then the blog (and my motivations behind it) changed a bit. DC Widow became a place of where I could connect with people that I didn’t know, specifically other young widows. My posts sparked conversations with my friends both online and in person. Soon, I found that I had a new reason for writing. I wanted my loss to have some sort of meaning. One of the posts…