• Fall leaves at wedding for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Love and Chris

    ‘Till Death Do Us Part

    In just a few days, under the bright Maine sky, Chris and I will be married. We’ve thought a lot about our wedding, about how we want to share our love with our family and friends, and what it means to formally recognize our commitment to each other. We think we’ve got a lot of unique moments planned for the ceremony. But one thing that won’t be unique? Our vows. We decided early on that we wanted to say traditional Episcopal wedding vows. We liked the simplicity and we liked that we’d be saying the same words that so many people have said before us. This is what I will…

  • 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…

  • Queen Anne's Lace
    Family & Friends

    Queen Anne’s Lace

    My mother was beautiful as a young woman, or at least that’s what my dad always says. Actually, he always says that she was beautiful at every age, and I know he means it. I remember her much more as an older woman of the 1980s and 1990s, wearing culotte shorts and sporting the hair of the time period. She looked like any other mom, I guess, and I never thought of her as particularly beautiful. But to my dad, she was. My dad loves to talk about my mom. I knew her better than my kids ever knew Shawn, because I had more time with her. But of course…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley holds son Austin with daughter Claire in hospital
    What Not to Say

    Why Widows Always Think About Death

    If you want to believe that you’ll live forever, do not get into a conversation with a young widow. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to get through a whole discussion with another young widow without talking about death. Even the young widows who are my closest friends – the ones who I talk to about mundane daily events on a regular basis – even with them, pretty much every conversation of any length will inevitably include at least a brief conversation about death or dying. I don’t try to have these conversations with my widow friends. It just happens. I guess it’s because at this…

  • Manicured lawn similar to that at party attended by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    It’s Not Something You Can Catch

    I was at a party a while back and I met a group of single people. The host introduced me to them after I mentioned the difficulty of meeting people outside my circle of (mostly married) friends. Everyone was kind (though no one shook hands, because even though it was February, we were still being cautious – you didn’t know what you could catch!) and we started chatting about nothing. Eventually, people started sharing stories of how they’d met each other, and a couple of them talked about getting divorced and finding support in other divorced people. They could share stories with each other, and also commiserate about parenting. I…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at the grave of their father
    Missing Shawn

    Remembering Shawn and The Tragically Hip

    As the second anniversary of Shawn’s death approached, I knew I needed to be more proactive than I had been on the first anniversary. That day, exactly one year after Shawn died, I decided that I would go to work and teach my high school classes. I mean, what was I thinking? I only had two classes that morning, but I cried in both of them, including while I was lecturing to my seniors about something like state sovereignty. (To be fair, this was one of those times when a terrible mistake leads to a real life lesson. Many of the students reached out to me afterwards and later that…