• Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at wedding
    Love and Chris

    Weddings and Other Complicated Endeavors

    When Shawn and I got married, almost six years had passed since my mother’s death. I was 25, bright-eyed and excited about the future, in a dress with a skirt so big it looked like something a barbie doll might wear. It was a great weekend, and every single one of my extended family members showed up. The rehearsal dinner was held in the backyard of my childhood home. We got tables from somewhere (maybe the church?) and my sister put candles in bowls filled with rice like she’d once seen at a bar. A local chef cooked for us, and then – one by one – each of my…

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

    Opinions on Kinetic Sand

    The other day, Tommy got out his kinetic sand and played with it for hours at the dining room table. When he was done he cleaned it up. For those of you with young children, you know that “cleaning up” kinetic sand is just like cleaning up real sand, except that it is also neon and somehow sticks to surfaces even worse than the real thing. “This stuff is terrible,” Chris said, as he tried to scrape little bits of it out of the crevices of the table. “I know,” I said. “I don’t even know why we have it except that Tommy loves it.” We joked about what kind…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley smiles at her fiance Chris
    Love and Chris

    How We Met (A Valentine’s Day Story)

    It’s an easy answer: he’s my best friend Becky’s brother. But that’s not really the answer to the question, “how did you meet?” We met a half-dozen times when the kids were tiny and I first knew Becky from preschool events. Chris would be visiting from Colombia or Maine or California wherever else he was living back then and I’m sure we chatted a bit, but neither of us can really remember that time period. So, if I’m literally answering this question, I’d probably have to say that we first met as I was cramming goldfish crackers into some child’s mouth, with spit-up from another child running down my arm.…

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

    Guilt (Part 2)

    The notes from my widowed readers came in pieces over the past few months, but together, they read something like this: I am so happy that you have found your second love, Chris. You seem really happy! I also recently found someone new, and for the first time in a long time, I feel alive again. But here’s my question: does this feeling (of being alive and in love) make you also feel guilty? I have a simple answer for that: no. (But also, I do still feel guilt sometimes.) I guess this needs some explanation. In fact, I’ve been thinking about guilt a lot lately. So much of 2018…

  • 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…

  • 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…