Son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale swings over lake

Adios, 2022… (Part 1 of 2)

Adios, 2022.

Adios to planning and making sure everything is perfect before I do something daring. Life is too short to avoid risk.

Adios worrying about what kind of a widow I should be. I am remarried, I am a mother, I am happy. I am also a widow.

Adios old cars and old car registrations, and adios to the DMV. Okay, not really, because I know I’ll be back at the DMV many more times, but adios to dealing with death-related things at the DMV.

Adios fear that Chris will die. He will, someday. But not yet. Not yet.

Adios, trying to please everyone. It never worked in the past, and now I am more focused on what really matters.

Adios, nightmares. (I know I also said this last year, and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that.) But for real, adios. Never fully, but slowly, I can say goodbye.

Adios complaints about aging. I’m almost 44, and that’s to be celebrated.

Adios to going to bed early every night because I’m so exhausted. Turns out, I like dancing after midnight.

Adios Covid. Yes, we all got infected this year. But I’m ready to say goodbye for real, hopefully very soon.

Adios expectations about what a family should be. Our family is not the one I planned when I was 17. But it is perfect.

Adios insecurities. Sure, I’ll never have perfect Spanish and my children will always mock my accent. But I’ve done a lot this year that I never thought I could do with our family, and that’s something to be proud of.

Adios gun violence. I know, it’s wishful thinking, but I want to be able to say “adios” for real.

Adios to fear that my kids would be screwed up forever. They had their share of hardship, but even still, they had many happy years, too.

Adios to wondering about my mom’s death. There are so many things I’ll never know, but I do know she tried her best.

Adios to perfection in everything from what I make for dinner to how I parent my kids. I’m doing the best I can, and that is all I can ask of myself.

Adios fears about living abroad with kids. We did it, and it’s not perfect but it’s something I’ll never regret.

Adios, junk mail that still arrives for Shawn. Even when he’s been gone for almost 5 years. Even when I’m living abroad. Even when we have strangers living in our house.

Adios to homesickness. Yes, I may feel that way sometimes. But I can also remind myself how many people love me no matter where I am in the world.

Adios to anyone comparing my life with Shawn to my life with Chris. It’s not a competition.

Adios to my blog. Not yet….but sometime fairly soon. I will not forget all your support through the years when I needed it most.

Adios, 2022.


  • Jean

    “I will not forget all your support through the years when I needed it most.”
    I’ve been a widow for less than a year but your blog has been one of my most treasured resources. Thank you for expressing so many of the contradictory emotions that arise for the surviving spouse. And thank you even more for showing both explicitly and implicitly that it’s not just a good idea but an obligation for us widows and widowers to reclaim our citizenship in the land of the living, and move forward in this world as best as we can. This applies regardless of our age and the presence or absence of children when our spouse died. We once loved our spouse enough to live *with* them. Our challenge now is to honor that past love with our choices for the present and the future. Each of us will find our own solution, with or without a “second act.”

    I may speak for many readers when I say I/we will miss your blog deeply but will manage. After all, we’re already surviving a much, much larger loss.

    • M Brimley

      Thank you so much for such a sweet, sweet note. I truly value and appreciate it. Writing the blog has meant so much to me for so many reasons, and one of the big ones is receiving notes like this. Thank you!

  • Rachael

    What a great comment left by Jean. Couldn’t agree more. In the early stages of widowhood, this blog expressed so many feelings in ways that I couldn’t put clearly into words. And now, over two years in, as I begin to see a healthy path forward, it is fun to follow your adventures. Thank you for all of your work and for putting this out into the world!