• Shawn Brimley backpacking before cancer

    Michele Flournoy’s Eulogy of Shawn

    Below is the eulogy that Michele Flournoy gave at Shawn’s funeral. Shawn Brimley was an extraordinary human being. A devoted husband and father. One of the country’s most brilliant and respected defense intellectuals. An innovator and institution builder. A truly beloved colleague, mentor and friend. And an example for us all. He was in his prime, his sun still rising in what seemed like a bright blue sky. He died too young and too suddenly, and we – those who loved him — are left behind in shock, heartbroken, bereft. But if Shawn were here, he would want us to complement our grief with a celebration of his life. For…

  • Brimley family in field before losing Shawn and becoming a widow
    What Not to Say

    A Review of “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”

    I went on Amazon the other day and put in “widow book.”  Now that I’m emerging – just a tiny bit – from the fog of the first few months, I’m trying to figure out how to make my life work.  I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about loss and grief.  I talk to everyone and I keep going to different types of therapy.  I know there’s no magic answer, but I figure it can’t hurt to just try everything I can to help ease the pain. Anyway, Amazon recommended this book called, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing,” and so I bought it.  I’ve spent the…

  • A portrait of Shawn Brimley for CNAS

    CNAS Tribute to Shawn

    Below is the speech I gave on Thursday, June 21st in honor of Shawn.  The CNAS Next Gen Program will now be called the Shawn Brimley Next Generation National Security Leaders Program. Thank you all for having me here, and congratulations to the Next Gen Class of 2018. I am Marjorie Brimley, Shawn Brimley’s wife.  I’ve been invited here to tell you a little bit more about Shawn. Shawn and I met teaching in Japan, and he proposed a year later on the beach with a ring made out of a coconut shell.  We moved to Washington with very little except each other and a belief that somehow we could…

  • Marjorie and Shawn Brimley sitting in their house in Washington DC
    Missing Shawn,  Tributes

    My Eulogy of Shawn

    This is the eulogy that I read at Shawn’s funeral on January 13, 2018: I only had him for 15 years, but I wanted him for 50 more. But Shawn would not want me to talk about how unfair it is that he was taken from me – and from all of us – far, far too soon. I know because that’s how he lived his life. Shawn was grateful for every single day he had on this planet. I know because he told me. Not just in the final days of his life but in every day before that. And so, today, I will tell you a piece of…