• Shawn Brimley's grave with Austin's converse and Marjorie's name appearing as a widow
    New Perspectives

    6 Months

    In the past 3 weeks, I’ve endured Father’s Day, Shawn’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.  Today, it’s the 6 month marker since his death. I woke up nervous, though I’m not sure why.  It’s not like anything has changed today, and the specific time period of six months is a made-up marker anyway.  But I’ve now lived a half of a year without Shawn, and that is something that gives me pause. If you had asked me a year ago if I would be able to handle six entire months without my husband, I would definitely have said “no.” And yet, here I am.  I am not whole anymore, but…

  • Jason Levine, an NIH oncologist, with his family
    Family & Friends

    Straight to Heaven

    About two hours after Shawn’s colon surgery began, the head surgeon came out to talk with me and my friend Jason about how everything was going. “There were a few complications,” he began. My heart seemed to stop and time slowed down. “After we put in the scope, we encountered pus, indicating an perforated colon,” the surgeon told me, “and so we had to convert to a standard open operation.” I looked at Jason. He looked calm. “Okay,” he said. The surgeon continued to explain what happened, assuring me that even with the changes, everything had gone well. I turned again to Jason, who looked at me and said, “this…