• Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks in field
    Love and Chris

    Holiday Cards

    Holiday cards have not been easy for me over the past few years. The year Shawn was dying, we somehow sent one out with the five of us on the front, and then for months afterwards when I’d go into my friends’ houses, I’d see our photo up on their walls. I loved that they were remembering him…and it was hard to face at the same time. He looked sick. The next year, I had no idea what to do about a holiday card, because the options I was faced with included statements like, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” and “oh what fun!” which was basically the…

  • Steaming coffee cup for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    He Makes the Coffee

    When Chris first came to stay with us, he was shocked to learn that I drank instant coffee. He didn’t understand how I could drink something so terrible when I really enjoyed food and cooking. “It’s just so much easier,” I explained. Of course, it was more complicated than that. I started drinking instant coffee when Shawn died. I did it for a lot of reasons, but I told myself that I made this decision because it didn’t make any sense to make a full pot of coffee when I was the only one drinking it. I’d gotten used to crappy coffee as a teacher (teacher’s lounge coffee is universally…

  • Car seat for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    Cold Pizza in the Back of the Mazda

    My kids don’t go anywhere anymore. We started out 2020 by taking some great trips, but obviously Covid changed all of that. For the past 8+ months, our lives have mostly been confined to the house. We are all on top of each other all the time – for school and lunch and playtime and work and everything in-between. Just like every other American family, I guess. Do I want to let them have more freedom? Yes. But Covid makes me nervous, because even though I know we’d all likely be okay if we got sick, I don’t have a guarantee. Sure, it may be only a very small chance…

  • Tommy's drawing of mom for DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Water and Fire

    The first Thanksgiving we spent without Shawn was really hard. We were with our dear friends Josh and Becky, out on Josh’s family farm, surrounded by people who loved us. But it felt heavy. And I was Just. So. Tired. One of the nights, Tommy woke up at 2 am, crying about something, and I couldn’t comfort him. Eventually, I brought him into my bed where he calmed down, his snotty face resting against my chest. I stayed awake for a long time, thinking about how I was the only person who could comfort him. Yes, there was a whole household of people there who loved him, but there was…