• Stack of papers for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    So Then Who Are You?

    A few nights ago, Tommy woke me up. “There’s something in my room!” he said, eyes wide. “There’s nothing in your room,” I said. “Let’s go back to sleep.” He wasn’t consoled, and as I tucked him back in he said, “listen! There’s scratching in the walls!” He was right. I told him that it was probably just a tree branch, but I knew otherwise. It was a mouse – or something worse – crawling around inside the walls of our house. “You have to call the pest company tomorrow,” I said to Chris as I crawled back into bed. “I’m teaching all day and this needs to be taken…

  • Meat on table for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    Death by Pork Butt

    I told myself I couldn’t freak out until 10 pm. I had been worried for the past hour, but I tried to rationalize it. Everything was fine. It wasn’t really that late. But then 10 pm arrived, and I let myself get really worried. Where was Chris? He’d been over at his sister’s house that evening, sitting around the fire and chatting with his brother-in-law, Josh. A few friends and neighbors dropped by to say congratulations on our engagement, and Josh was smoking a pork butt in his new smoker. Chris had let me know that things were behind schedule, as the pork butt was taking much longer to cook…

  • Holiday card of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    Holiday Cards (Part 2)

    As we put our holiday card together last month, Chris and I debated what to write on the back. We’d already decided to put “all you need is love” on the front, but we recognized that there were going to be some people who would be super confused when they got our card. For my friends, who was this new guy on the front? And (maybe even more confusing) for Chris’s friends, who was this woman and these three kids with him? So, on the back we wrote the following: Not sure who one (or four) of the people on this card are? Drop us a line. We can talk…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks away with partner Chris
    Love and Chris

    Accompany Me

    About a week before the anniversary of Shawn’s death this year, I sat by the fire with Chris and started talking about what it was like to watch someone die. I’m not sure why I wanted to tell him. He’s heard it all before and we talk sometimes about how I’ve processed Shawn’s death. But it wasn’t that I needed him to know more details. It was that I simply wanted to tell the story to someone again. I wanted – maybe even needed – to process it once more. And so he listened. He let me talk and asked me a few questions. But mostly I just remembered what…

  • Podium for blog about Joe Biden by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    The President We Need

    I have never met Joe Biden, but since I live in DC, I know a lot of people who have. And they all say the same thing: he may not be a perfect man, but he is genuine in his warmth towards others. It’s not an act. He reaches out in many ways, but he’s most likely to do that when he sees someone suffering. Especially if that person is grieving. Biden knows grief. As we all know, his first wife and infant daughter were killed when he had just been elected to the Senate, in 1972. Yes, he went on to have an incredible political career. He remarried. But…

  • Stone pillars for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    Must Read This Week: Jamie Raskin

    I’ve had a number of people write me over the past week and ask how my family is doing. (We are fine.) It’s been a long week for everyone living in DC. It’s been a long year for everyone in DC. Hell, it’s been a long year for everyone, everywhere – and it’s been longer still for those who’ve suffered illness and job loss and racism and grief. I think I can say one thing: 2021 already feels pretty exhausting. For our family, it’s also exhausting because we started this year as we start every year: by remembering when Shawn left this earth. Just a few days after the horror…