• Beach visited by DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley for New Years
    New Perspectives

    Year of Yes

    “You have to come,” Paige said to me, “this aerobics class is a unique Cayman experience.  I can’t let you miss it.” I reiterated that I didn’t like workout classes.  “I already have enough people demanding things of me,” I always say when people encourage me to sign up for something like Orange Theory or Soul Cycle.  “Well this is more like a fast pass to Carnival,” she said, “and it’s time to go.” I went to the reggae aerobics class.  I was her guest for the week, and this was something she really wanted me to do.  The class was packed and had just started when we arrived.  The…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley holding her three children
    Missing Shawn

    “I Want Daddy to Come Back”

    Earlier this week, I told my kids that I was going to go to the cemetery on the anniversary of their father’s death. “Do any of you want to come?” Austin and Tommy enthusiastically agreed. “I want to come too,” Claire said softly. I was happy. A year ago, she refused to go to the cemetery. She thought it would be too sad, and though she couldn’t quite explain it, she worried about re-living the moment her father’s body was put in the ground. But when she finally went, on Shawn’s birthday last summer, she found it to be a place that was calming for her. She still doesn’t go…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley in their DC house with heads touching before Shawn's illness
    Missing Shawn

    When He Was Still Mine

    One year ago today, curled up next to him in the hospital bed, I began to tell him a story. It was the story of our life together. I was up almost the entire night previously. He was sick, and needed care and I couldn’t sleep and let him suffer. At 4 am I checked his breathing. At 5 am I called my friends to bring me paperwork so I could take over the medical decision-making process. At 6 am I called his family. “Hurry,” I said. At 7 am, the palliative care nurses came in, and I wept for the first time in 12 hours. “You can get in…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley in car after wedding surrounded by family and friends
    Missing Shawn

    In the Movie Version of My Life

    A few weeks ago, I was washing dishes and talking to my friends Becky and Michelle. They had come over with their kids for dinner and we were chatting about our lives. We discussed a blog post of mine that had come out recently – the one about how I need to figure out how to make it in the world without a man. “Not forever, mind you!” I said with a wink. They knew what I meant. I’m certainly not done with men for the rest of my life. And yet the future of that part of my life seems…difficult to comprehend. “In the movie version of your life,”…

  • Shawn Brimley, husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie, walks across a field with son Tommy
    Things That Suck

    “I Think He’s Dying”

    It was New Year’s Day, 2018. I was with a couple of friends and their husbands. Our kids ran all over the house, happy to be with each other. Shawn was at home, finally, but we had decided that he’d spend the afternoon sleeping and I’d take the kids out of the house. It was freezing, and they were stir-crazy. I didn’t want to leave him, but there was still some part of me that thought we had a really long road ahead of us. If that was the case, we needed to make sure to keep the kids’ routine steady, and that meant getting them out of the house…

  • DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley splashes in water with her three children

    ….Hello 2019 (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello 2019. Hello security – in my finances, in my parenting, in my choices. Hello running fast and slow, up hills and down, with tears and without. Hello writing, this time without striving for so much perfection. Hello nights that end after midnight. Hello banker, financial advisor, lawyer.  I can navigate you and your paperwork now, and I’m going to be proud of that. Hello rocking my baby after his bath. Hello daydreams. Hello therapy over wine with girlfriends after school. Hello God.  Whoever or whatever or wherever you are. Hello acceptance of other people and their reactions to my loss. Hello eight hours of sleep. Hello empowerment.  Let my…