• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley runs away from camera

    2020, It’s Time to Go… (Part 1 of 2)

    It’s time to go, 2020. It’s time to go, face masks and hand sanitizer and six feet of social distance. Not right away, I know. But soon, I hope. Soon. It’s time to go, waking up at 3 am. It’s time to go, guilt and anxiety. Or at least the really bad guilt and anxiety that comes after tragic loss. I’m healing now, so I really just have space for regular guilt and anxiety. It’s time to go, online dating. It’s time to go, nightmares. I know I also said this last year (and the year before that), but those really terrible ones? For real, no more nightmares, please. It’s…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at kitchen counter with partner
    Love and Chris

    Kitchen Counter

    The kitchen is my favorite room in my house. About a year before Shawn died, we remodeled part of the house, putting in a new kitchen with more light and a few more cabinets. I had never been a big cook, but I was excited about the project. I thought that having a nicer space might help me improve my culinary skills. Things didn’t quite go as planned. The kids were still so small and Shawn was working on building a new business and my teaching job was picking up, and there wasn’t any time. I figured once Tommy was in full-time preschool, I’d be able to really work on…

  • Christmas ornament for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley


    Every single year at the end of November, it happens again. No matter how much I try and remember, no matter where I look, I just cannot find what I need. I cannot find Gingee. Gingee is our Christmas elf. She’s actually just a stuffed doll that Shawn and I got when Claire was 4 or 5 during the elf-on-the-shelf craze (Claire named our elf Gingee at the time.) For years, we pretended that Gingee would show up during the month of December to watch over the kids and “report back to Santa at night.” Because Gingee had to fly to the North Pole when everyone was sleeping, she often…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley stands in field with partner Chris
    Love and Chris


    Below is a post that was written by my partner, Chris. It took me two months of persistent lobbying to get him to write again after his original blog post. He’s worried he doesn’t have anything to add to the conversation about widowhood, that it’s not his place to talk about the things that he hasn’t lived. But he loves me, and loving a widow is….complicated. Here’s just a bit of that story, written only because I put him under (some) duress. “You know my only rule, right?” It was a question that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, I guess in part because I had no idea what…

  • Tree branches on wood for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    The Tree Sale

    When Chris and I started dating, we understood that our relationship might elicit a few raised eyebrows or puzzled looks. What we didn’t realize was how often people would assume that we were a nuclear family that all shared one last name. It happens a lot when we’re out in a public place, like a park, and we see a group of strangers. We just take it in stride, because let’s be honest here: people assume a lot about strangers that is inaccurate. But what I find odder is when it happens in our community, as it did a few weekends ago at the elementary school fundraiser. Chris’s sister Becky…

  • Bathroom for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    The Spot on the Bathroom Floor

    I’m writing this post from my bathroom floor. There’s a spot that’s empty next to the wall. I always thought I’d put a bench there, but somehow, I never did. Instead, it’s just a random spot of floor, perfect for curling up into a ball. I guess it’s pretty obvious that curling up on the bathroom floor hasn’t just been a hypothetical idea for me. On the contrary. This is my spot. How many nights did I sit here, arms wrapped around my knees and cry? God, it must’ve been at least six months. I knew that my kids and my dad were less likely to hear me if I…