DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley runs through fountain with children

…Hello 2020 (Part 2 of 2)

Hello 2020.

Hello widow friends. I’m sorry we met. But I’m glad I know you.

Hello nights that last until 2 am. Sometimes because they are sad. But more often, because they are fun.

Hello to being alone. Not lonely. But alone. I’m finally learning the difference.

Hello anger, sadness, grief and fear. You all have a place in my life. You just don’t get to rule it.

Hello risk.

Hello to saying no, and feeling okay about it. I know what I can handle now, and I know what I cannot.

Hello 41. I’ll finally be older than Shawn ever was. I’m going to make it count.

Hello to eating dinner alone at a restaurant or having a drink by myself.

Hello to looking forward to vacation with my kids. I dreaded this “time off” for a long time, but now I know we can have a lot of fun together.

Hello to writing without rules and deadlines. I may not write a book this year. But I will write for me and I will write to connect with others.

Hello vulnerability.  You lead to connection.

Hello cookbooks. I’m starting to remember that I like new flavors and meals that I make myself.

Hello to breaking the rules sometimes. Following them didn’t work so well anyway.

Hello sweet smell of my baby boy waking up next to me. No, you aren’t a substitute for your father. But you have his infectious laugh and his playful spirit.

Hello 2-way friendships.

Hello to being thankful for my Clark family. You got me through the past two years. You gave me another niece. And you showed me my family was everywhere and would always be there for me.

Hello to trying new things.

Hello to being a middle school parent. How I’m going to do this without Shawn is beyond me. But I promise I’ll do the best I can.

Hello to running faster, longer, harder. The Cherry Blossom Race is in a few months. It’s 10 miles, and I’m going to cross that finish line.

Hello darkness. You aren’t so scary anymore.

Hello to managing my own finances and car repairs.

Hello friends, those who’ve stuck by me through the pain and the new ones I’ve met because of it.

Hello to pushing myself.

Hello parties in my backyard. It’s time to have those more regularly.

Hello to love from the past and in the future. But especially…hello to love that is with me in the present, from my kids and my dad and my friends.

Hello 2020.

Image Credit: Stefanie Harrington Photography.


  • Michael Zoosman

    And Hello to the Hope that comes invariably with a new Cycle.
    Every blessing to you and your family in this new decade, Marjorie,
    Happy New Year! Mike

  • Babette

    I love every single one of your posts. Now I have found hope and some new friendships as well. Keep on writing. I look forward to reading every single one in 2020!

  • Kathy

    Stumbled upon your site at 330 am. I joined “the club” at 41, the day after Christmas. I’m so lost but your blog is inspiring.

    • Marjorie

      I’m so terribly sorry. The early days are just devastating, so go easy on yourself. I’m glad my blog can be a bit of solace.

  • Laurent Ponthieu

    Hello Marjorie,
    such a nice text, and so true! I feel or have felt every nuance of it, though you’re the one who put the right words on it. Thank you so much. Being a widower made my heart open more easily to honest and deeper friendship. Just as you wrote, vulnerability leads to connection. May your words inspire all of us, widowed or not, to realize how much more or hearts can do.
    Laurent (France)

    • Marjorie

      This is beautiful, and I know others who feel the same. Vulnerability is hard, but part of what widowhood has done to me is to make me more vulnerable in a way that leads to connection.

  • Ian

    Both your 2019 and 2020 lists are ultimately so positive and I’m very excited and happy for you and the kids that things are headed in such a good direction. I’m proud of you! All the best in 2020 and always.

  • Bastiaan

    Thank you for helping me acknowledge that I can try to find happiness and love without guilt. All grief counselors should be aware of your writing. Courageous, brutally honest, genuine and beautifully written.