• Shawn Brimley and family for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Hale
    Missing Shawn

    Letter to Shawn (Part 2)

    Dear Shawn, Right now, I am watching the sunset. It is gorgeous, and I am happy. It occurred to me that this might be strange for you to hear, all these years later. I was so sure that I’d never be happy without you, but here I am, more than 5 years after you left this earth and I am telling you that it is true. I am happy. So if you can somehow access this letter, I want you to know I’ve been thinking of you. I’ve been thinking of all that has changed since you left us and all that is somehow just as you imagined it back…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale smiles at Grandpa Tom before wedding
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: On the Phone with My Dad

    It was those early days in the pandemic, and I spent most of the time during the day with my kids and my students, but in the late afternoons, I talked to my dad. Evenings had become a race to bedtime so I could spend the rest of night on the phone with Chris. It was a weird – and somehow happy – existence. One day as I began to prepare dinner in the late afternoon, I called my dad. We spoke on FaceTime as I chopped vegetables, and he told me stories about what was happening in my hometown. How were we doing in DC? Was I feeling okay?…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale dances at wedding with husband Chris
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: Falling for Chris

    It was the early days of the pandemic. And I was falling hard. Chris and I were just texting, I reminded myself. A series of texts didn’t mean true love. Maybe he didn’t want more. But then, we started to talk on the phone. It was innocent at first, just a catch-up to touch base during such a strange time, a simple “hello” that turned into a three-hour conversation during which my kids got way too much screen time and I missed their bedtime by an hour. That same night, he asked how I was feeling about dating and relationships at that point in my life. “I want to date…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale hugs husband at wedding in field
    New Perspectives

    Rule of Life

    Every year, I make New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, that’s not totally true. The year Shawn was dying, I didn’t make any resolutions. I didn’t spend even one second thinking about them. I just wanted him to stay alive, which I don’t think really qualifies as a “resolution”. But the next year, I made a resolution, one that was quite straightforward. I called it the “Year of Yes” – something I had heard of online, and resolved to say “yes” to everything that I could. It was an attempt to create a new life for myself, a year after Shawn’s death. It didn’t work out perfectly, but it helped me move…

  • Chris Hale, husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: A First (Platonic) Night With Chris

    Chris and I were friends for well over a year before I thought it could be something more. Though we’d met years prior, I’d never talked to him for more than a few minutes at a time, usually when I was dropping off a kid for a playdate at his sister Becky’s house and he happened to be in town. But about a year after Shawn died, I was flying through Atlanta, where he lived, and I had a day-long layover. Becky suggested I stay with Chris, and before I had the chance to ask for his number, he texted me. Hi Marjorie—it’s Becky’s brother, Chris. I hear you’ll be…

  • Son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale swings over lake

    Adios, 2022… (Part 1 of 2)

    Adios, 2022. Adios to planning and making sure everything is perfect before I do something daring. Life is too short to avoid risk. Adios worrying about what kind of a widow I should be. I am remarried, I am a mother, I am happy. I am also a widow. Adios old cars and old car registrations, and adios to the DMV. Okay, not really, because I know I’ll be back at the DMV many more times, but adios to dealing with death-related things at the DMV. Adios fear that Chris will die. He will, someday. But not yet. Not yet. Adios, trying to please everyone. It never worked in the…