• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley dressed as Black Widow with her children dressed as the Avengers stand in yard

    The Avengers

    I love Halloween. I’ve dressed up every year, even as an adult, and for many years we’ve done a family costume. Last year, we were all zombies, which somehow made sense. But this year didn’t feel like a zombie year. Tommy, in particular, was stuck on the idea of being Spiderman, and when I thought about it, the Avengers seemed like a pretty easy theme. And plus – I could be the best superhero of all: Black Widow. Claire and Austin acquiesced, with the caveat that they’d each get another costume to wear to school. (I gave in, even though it’s a silly expense. See aforementioned love of Halloween.) For…

  • Kitchen of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Talking Football at the Kitchen Island

    The raised voices drew me closer to my kitchen counter. “No way, man, the Bears are terrible,” I heard one man say. “If you think you’re going to tell me that they are better than the Vikings, I have to remind you about that quarterback of yours!” I smiled. I was hosting an event for parents from my kids’ elementary school, and a group of men were gathered around my kitchen island. They were talking about football, I figured, and so I wasn’t really comprehending the specifics. Instead, I just listened to how they teased each other, and the good-natured laughing that interrupted their increasingly excited claims about various teams.…

  • Grant and children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley put arms around each other in alley
    Family & Friends

    Grant Showed Us the Way

    Below is a piece by my friend and neighbor, Mark. He tells the story of how his son Grant and my son Austin became close friends in the time after Shawn’s death. He begins his story as Shawn is in the hospital. Marjorie was surrounded by best friends and family, which was somewhat of a relief.  We were just neighbors who mostly found each other in the adjoining alley where our kids played basketball and learned to ride bikes.  The last time Marjorie and I spoke was about three weeks before the service.  There still was hope that Shawn would survive.  I brought meatballs and pasta for the week.  After…

  • Grandmother of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    My Cross to Bear

    When I was a kid, I loved to hold my grandmother’s hand. She had a firm grip, but her skin was soft. If I close my eyes, I can feel the contours of her wrist and the bumps of her veins. Maybe it’s odd that I remember the feel of my grandmother’s hands more than that of my own mother’s. My mom often held my hand. But my mom’s hands felt like any other hands – warm and loving, but mostly just normal hands. My grandmother had very advanced rheumatoid arthritis. It plagued her for her entire adult life, mangling her joints and causing her terrible pain. When she was…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley kisses husband Shawn at their wedding
    New Perspectives

    In An Instant

    Sometimes, who you are can change in an instant. “I do.” You’re a wife. “It’s a girl!” You’re a mother. “He’s gone.” You’re a widow. When these changes happen, the world often knows immediately. There’s not always a lot of training about how to be a wife or a mother or a widow before you actually become one, so the transition isn’t often smooth. I certainly argued with Shawn about sharing the household chores when we were first married, I definitely didn’t know how to install a car seat when Claire was born, and I absolutely had no idea how to carry on with my life when I became a…

  • City at night like that visited by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    And the Air Will Buzz Again

    Officially, I came to New York to work on my writing and see my friend Paige who was in town for the weekend.  But unofficially, I came for some breathing space.  I came to get out away from the daily grind of working and parenting.  I came to get a bit of time to feel more like my old self. New York did not disappoint.  As I walked away from Penn Station, I smiled at the hoards of people crossing the street, selling cheap jewelry, begging for money and making business deals.  New York is so alive. Paige and I ate great food and walked everywhere and stayed out late. …