• Austin Brimley son of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley wades through ocean
    Family & Friends

    I Am From

    A few weeks ago, Austin came downstairs and wanted my help editing a poem he wrote. “It’s for school,” he said. Their class had read the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon and he was supposed to write his story – the story of his life – in a similar style. The kids were all working on a shared document, so we could see what his classmates had written. As you may imagine, there was a lot of discussion of favorite sports and playing with siblings and other fourth grade interests. On the first line, Austin had written a bit about being from “mom and dad,” but he…

  • Holiday card of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    Holiday Cards (Part 2)

    As we put our holiday card together last month, Chris and I debated what to write on the back. We’d already decided to put “all you need is love” on the front, but we recognized that there were going to be some people who would be super confused when they got our card. For my friends, who was this new guy on the front? And (maybe even more confusing) for Chris’s friends, who was this woman and these three kids with him? So, on the back we wrote the following: Not sure who one (or four) of the people on this card are? Drop us a line. We can talk…

  • Tacos for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    Now You Just Write Random Things

    Dinnertime is where we have our most interesting conversations. It hasn’t always been this way. For many years I just survived dinnertime with small kids, and the year Shawn died I don’t think I had one real conversation over a meal with the kids. But eventually my dad and I settled on a dinner routine. When Chris arrived this spring, he helped cement it even further. Every night, we go around and say our highs and lows for the day, which usually leads us into longer conversations. The other day, I was talking about how I had connected with another young widow and it made me feel good to talk…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with partner

    …Hello, 2021 (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello, 2021. Hello first sip of coffee in the morning, reminding me that life’s small pleasures are worth savoring. Hello risk. I’m comfortable with you now. (Though I’ll still wear my mask until we all get that vaccine.) Hello laughter at all times of the day. Even when it’s 10 am and I’m trying to learn first grade subtraction while teaching high school government online. Even when it’s 10 pm and I’m exhausted from the day. Hello joy. Hello Friday pizza night. You were the best night at the end of every week, especially the night that Chris proposed. I think you’re around to stay. Hello vulnerability.  You lead to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley stands in field with partner Chris
    Love and Chris


    Below is a post that was written by my partner, Chris. It took me two months of persistent lobbying to get him to write again after his original blog post. He’s worried he doesn’t have anything to add to the conversation about widowhood, that it’s not his place to talk about the things that he hasn’t lived. But he loves me, and loving a widow is….complicated. Here’s just a bit of that story, written only because I put him under (some) duress. “You know my only rule, right?” It was a question that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, I guess in part because I had no idea what…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walks in field
    Love and Chris

    Holiday Cards

    Holiday cards have not been easy for me over the past few years. The year Shawn was dying, we somehow sent one out with the five of us on the front, and then for months afterwards when I’d go into my friends’ houses, I’d see our photo up on their walls. I loved that they were remembering him…and it was hard to face at the same time. He looked sick. The next year, I had no idea what to do about a holiday card, because the options I was faced with included statements like, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” and “oh what fun!” which was basically the…