• Cemetery of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    What Happens to My Body When I Die?

    It was dinnertime on Father’s Day this year when Claire looked at me and said, “wait, we didn’t go to the cemetery today!” She didn’t look upset, just surprised. Didn’t we always go to the cemetery on Father’s Day? In fact, we haven’t always done that. The very first Father’s Day I celebrated without Shawn, we went to the toy store and the local diner and the pool. I wanted to make sure it felt like a fun day for the kids, and for me. While we went in 2019 and 2020, this year we all wanted to celebrate Chris, and though we spent time remembering Shawn, we didn’t go…

  • Cemetery where DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley buried husband Shawn
    Missing Shawn

    Visitors to Your Grave

    The other day, as I was driving to Costco, I decided to stop at the cemetery. I was hungry when I got there, and so I sat down at Shawn’s grave and ate Sun Chips and told him about what was happening in my life. I don’t know why I do this. As I was talking, I saw a man in the distance. He had on a cowboy hat and a large beard. He was probably my age. He seemed to be looking for something on the ground. Maybe someone’s name? Maybe something else? What was he doing, I wondered? I sat at Shawn‘s grave for a long time that…

  • 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…

  • Letters I love dad for blog post by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    Father’s Day, Year 3

    I try not to look at social media on Father’s Day. I know I’m not alone. A lot of widows purposefully avoid social media on these fraught days – and there are many fraught days. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving…the list could go on. Because here’s the thing about social media on days that are celebratory: people post photos of their smiling and (usually) intact families. They sing the praises of the fathers in their children’s lives. This is great, and yet it is all a brutal reminder to me that my own family does not look like it once did. Father’s Day is probably the hardest…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley lay on couch together
    Things That Suck

    My Babies Are Here With Me

    “Thank God my Dad is almost home,” I texted a friend late Wednesday night. A part of me had been worried that we overreacted when we decided he should leave DC and return to rural Oregon. But then Wednesday night happened, and I was sure that I’d made the right call. No travel to Europe. The NBA suspends its season. Tom Hanks has coronavirus. My phone lit up so many times in the hour after I put my boys to bed, I almost couldn’t process it. I knew I had to remain calm, but nothing about the past 48 hours had felt calm. My school was closed for cleaning and…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley gets ready for school in kitchen
    Family & Friends

    Costco, the Cemetery, and My Dad

    My dad loves Costco. In fact, I think he loves it even more than I do. He is a man who needs very little, but he is also someone who never likes to be short of supplies. As evidence, we currently have five gallons of milk in our fridge. (“Just in case the other four gallons get consumed in under 24 hours!” I told my sister the other day. She laughed. “I love dad,” she said.) In any case, when I mentioned that I needed to go to Costco to get some things for a party, my dad immediately said that he wanted to come with me. “Just so you…