• Black and white image of family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Our Safe Space

    Like many other parents in DC, I went to pick up my children after school on Friday, bracing myself for what was to come. It felt like the end of the year, in a way. We knew the kids would be out for at least two and a half weeks, and the uncertainty about the future was palpable. Still, the children seemed excited, more than anything else. Austin and Tommy ran around on the field, and I let them, knowing that once we left the school I wasn’t going to let them play much with anyone else. I figured they could have one last game of tag, since they’d been…

  • Image of runner's shoes like DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    I Keep Running

    I run almost every day. This is a relatively new thing for me – when Shawn was alive, I did a lot of walking, and I went to the gym a few times a week. But I wasn’t a consistent runner. Shawn was religious about his workouts. He did CrossFit all the time and ran on the days when he wasn’t at the gym. He went through a period of time when we were both in our early 30s when he wasn’t working out at all. But he woke up one morning in his late 30s and told me that he had gained too much weight and he was going…

  • Daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley runs in cross country race
    New Perspectives

    What’s the Worst Thing That Can Happen?

    I was driving to a cross-country meet with Claire a few weeks ago, and she was really nervous. “I have butterflies!” she said from the backseat. I tried to calm her down. She’s still in elementary school and she was only going to be running a couple of miles. “It’s for fun, anyway,” I said. “But what if it’s terrible?” she said. I could hear the worry in her voice. “Okay,” I said, “what’s the worst thing that can happen today?” “I could die!” Claire said. “You’re not going to die,” I said. “You know that. So let’s think about what actually might happen.” “I could have to walk,” she…

  • Kitchen counter similar to that of DC Widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Nights at the Kitchen Counter

    When Shawn was alive, we reconnected most nights in the kitchen after the kids went to sleep. They were all so young back then, and went to bed by 8 pm, always. We treasured the few hours together that we got without them. (Oh how he would hate Claire’s new bedtime of 9 pm!) Anyway, each night we’d both come down to the kitchen, and usually he’d re-heat food I made earlier in the evening or put something else in the oven. I’d sit at the counter and we’d talk about our days. I often had some drama from school (the staff meeting went way too long, or some student…

  • Elevator man similar to that in story by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    What I’m Scared Of

    I slipped into the last spot on the elevator going up to my hotel room last week.  As I fumbled in my purse for my room key (so I could push the button to my floor) the man standing next to me said, “quick! You better show us your room key so we know you are allowed up!” He meant it as a joke, but it felt like a strange thing to say, and I sort-of half smiled/half frowned at him while continuing to rifle through my purse.  He beamed at the other people on the elevator, who were clearly friends of his.  I got off at my floor, and…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with youngest son Tommy holding her face
    Things That Suck

    You Are Alone. Accept That. Carry On.

    As I groped through the month of March, I tried a LOT of different things to feel better. I wrote. I ran. I talked to my friends. I drank wine. I cried. Sometimes I sobbed. I even texted my friends that I was thinking about following Michael Pollan’s experimentation with psychedelics. (My therapist friend Kelly responded with, “don’t do mushrooms! That’s a hard no.” I listened. Because, kids, you shouldn’t do illegal drugs to dull your pain. There are plenty of FDA-approved medicines that can help if that’s where you find yourself.) But before I get too far away from my key point here: March was terrible. (And yes, I…