• Field and trees for deathiversary blog post by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale

    Things to do on a Deathiversary

    I never quite know what to do to celebrate a deathiversary. Yes, I get that “celebrate” might not be the best word here, especially when we’re talking about the anniversary of a loved one’s death. Wouldn’t “mourn” be a better word? Or maybe just “mark”? Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve certainly mourned Shawn on his deathiversary each year, which is January 9th. But as time passes, I want to celebrate him, even though the date itself is always going to be sad for me. Still, it’s a date when I remember him, which means that I don’t want to just let it pass me by. I want to mark it.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley hugs son Austin in front of Supreme Court

    Tell Me How To Do It (Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

    I met Ruth Bader Ginsburg once, right after watching her sit for a case at the Supreme Court. I’d been assigned to teach Constitutional Law for a semester and although I wasn’t fully prepared to teach it, I took it on with zeal. I spent much of the previous semester reading court cases and planning out lessons. Sure, I wasn’t a lawyer, but I could still teach this course, right? As I was laying out my final syllabus for approval that fall, Shawn went into the hospital. I kept working on it, taking notes as he slept next to me and drafting lesson plans in between his bouts of nausea…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley lifts massive pumpkin

    Tell Me About Him

    About a month after Shawn died, I was on the phone with his former boss. She was asking about the kids, but then we started talking about Shawn. She shared stories with me, and I smiled, but mostly I cried. She worried that she was upsetting me, and I reassured her that I wanted to keep talking about Shawn. In fact, it’s all I wanted to do in those early days. I wanted to talk about Shawn all the time. I knew it was inappropriate to tell strangers on the metro and at the grocery store about my dead husband, but I did it anyway. It was a compulsion of…