• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with son in front of Christmas tree

    Goodbye, 2021… (Part 1 of 2)

    Goodbye, 2021. Goodbye, nightmares. I know I also said this last year (and the year before that and the year before that), but those really terrible ones? For real, no more nightmares, please. Goodbye, junk mail that still arrives for Shawn. Especially when it’s life insurance policies. Goodbye to making everyone happy. Yes, things may have been different in the past. But now, I need to make the best decisions I can for my family, which may not please everyone else. Goodbye worries that our wedding will be ruined or our guests will do all the wrong things. Turned out, in every way it mattered, it was perfect. Goodbye anxiety over…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale sees husband Chris for the first time at wedding
    Love and Chris

    See It to Believe It

    It was a year into widowhood, and an old group of friends of mine had suggested a short trip out West, a long weekend where we could reunite and also lose ourselves in the landscape of the desert. It had been a good decision to go, I realized, as I sat with them the first night and drank margaritas and tried to brainstorm how to find me a man who could drown my sorrows, at least for a night. We laughed a lot and talked about the days before we had children. They spent a good amount of time listening to me talk about my terrible first dating experiences and…

  • Marjorie Brimley Hale with her late husband Shawn and three kids in a field
    New Perspectives

    Grief, Not Sadness

    Some people I know have beautifully decorated, color-coordinated Christmas trees currently displayed in their houses. I am not one of those people. My tree is plastic, to start. Claire’s allergic to trees, so we had to get a plastic one many years ago, but also it was just way easier than going out to cut down a tree with three little kids. It doesn’t smell like a tree and it doesn’t really look like a tree, so my solution is to cover it with all the ornaments we have and try and hide the plastic-ness of it. I have some of the ornaments my mom once put on our tree.…

  • Rings and other jewelry for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Why Does It Feel Like Cheating If He’s Dead?

    It took six months after Shawn died before I took off my wedding ring. I did it on a short trip, unceremoniously, as I sat in a hotel room by myself. Shortly thereafter, I met a man at the hotel’s pool, one who made me laugh and made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. And yes, before you ask, it didn’t end there. He came back to my hotel room, and I let him in. And yet, before it could get too far, it struck me that I had a stranger in a hotel room with me. I’m not cheating, I said to myself, but…

  • Family of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale at her wedding

    Other People’s Joy

    Joy! It’s the word I see everywhere this time of year, a sentiment (“joy!”) that I loved so much before widowhood and yet it was the one word that drove me completely crazy after Shawn died. Why was everyone insisting that I feel joy, just because the calendar was turned to the December page? It was maddening. And yet, I also wanted to feel that joy. I wanted it…and I couldn’t find it. What did that mean? The first year of widowhood, I went through at least a hundred holiday cards, looking for one that didn’t say, “The Merriest Time of Year!” or some similar sentiment. As I wrote in…

  • Shawn Brimley with children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in alley playing hockey

    People You May Know

    Below is a post that was written by my husband, Chris. As I’ve noted before, I wish he would write more often, but he feels that this blog is mine and so he usually wants to stay in the background. Still, I managed to convince him to write something recently, and it struck me as a great post for this time of year, when I’m thinking a lot about Shawn. I have a rudimentary, but serviceable understanding of how the internet works. Part of what that means in 2021, is recognizing that at any given time, there is a symphony of equations, code, algorithms, cookies, and probably lots of other…