• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays in fountain with her two sons
    Missing Shawn


    “He needs a colonoscopy soon, Marjorie.” I think about these words all the time. My dad said them to me probably a month before Shawn’s diagnosis, after some tests had revealed that there were tiny bits of blood in Shawn’s stool. At the time, I told my dad that Shawn had one scheduled for January. “I’d do it sooner,” he replied. Our talk that day scared me a bit, but I brushed it off. Shawn had a doctor here in DC, and he was getting on a new antibiotic to help his pain. I didn’t need to worry too much. Why didn’t I make him go get the colonoscopy right…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks away from camera in field holding hands with husband Shawn
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Yes, It’s Okay to Want to Have Sex Again

    WARNING: If you are squeamish about sex OR if you are my father, you may want to stop reading right now. Because I’m going to talk to you about sex. Not just about desire or dating, but actually about sex. And I’m not going to discuss the sex that you once had. I’m going to talk to you, my widowed friend, about wanting to have sex again. Even when you are grieving. Last week, I asked my readers to let me know the questions they had about widowhood and grieving. Many people wrote me, and the overwhelming topic was sex. A composite of the most common note went something like…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley kisses their baby on the cheek


    Back in the late summer of 2002, when Shawn and I were falling in love, we had a night when we were laying around my apartment, talking about life. My head was in his lap, and he brushed my hair with his fingers. We sat on tatami mats, their smell slightly permeating the room, and the hum of the air conditioner came on and off throughout our conversation. We took turns asking each other the big questions. “What’s your biggest regret?” I asked him at one point. He took a deep breath, and then surprised me with his answer. “When I was in 8th grade, I was at a dance,…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley looks at her pregnant belly as a young woman
    New Perspectives

    In a Hurry

    Since I was a little girl, all I really wanted in this life was to be a mom. Sure, I wanted to be other things – a world traveler and a teacher and a great hostess. But more than any of this, I wanted to be a mom. I knew what this meant – I’d need to meet someone when I was relatively young, get married, and then have kids, hopefully all before I was 30. Thank God I met Shawn. I swear, I might have married anyone at 22. But I met him, and my life was amazingly more interesting than it would have been otherwise. We were both…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley puts on Tommy's shoes in front of door
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow

    Every few weeks, I get a panicked email or call from a friend or acquaintance or stranger from the internet. “I don’t know what to do,” the person tells me, “my friend/sister/neighbor/colleague just lost her partner, and now she’s a widow. How can I help her?” I always ask more questions before I answer. Because, really, it depends. If this is your best friend, there are lots of things you can do. You can offer to help her deal with the funeral arrangements or stay overnight with her so she doesn’t have to be alone. But if she’s not a close friend, you may need to figure out another way…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley crosses arms and frowns while Grandfather smiles at her

    Old and Young, At the Same Time

    I came home from work the other day and Claire was in a bad mood. “I’m so tired,” she said, when I asked what was wrong. I offered up a number of ideas. She could read a book, listen to music, or just chill out on the couch. No, she could not watch TV. That was for after dinner and showers. She did not like this, and let me know. “Well, Claire,” I said, “I’m going out on a bike ride with Tommy and Austin. You can join us if you want.” She rolled her eyes at me and audibly sighed. Her hair was high on her head in a…