• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale dressed as bride of frankenstein

    Bride of Frankenstein

    In our family, we take Halloween very seriously. It’s funny that one of my favorite holidays is the one that’s all about spirits, supernatural beings, and death. You should see our front yard – it’s covered not just in cobwebs and spiders, but also in skeletons and graves. The first year after Shawn died, I worried my kids would hate Halloween, but I was wrong. They weren’t bothered at all by the decorations or by the themes that surrounded them everywhere they went. But I was. That year, I fixated on how – the year prior – Shawn had been so ill on Halloween that he’d barely left the house.…

  • Marjorie and friend in photo book for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    I Know You’re Ready When You Tell Me You’re Ready

    It’s been almost three years since I sat down with my dear friend Kristin, looked her in the eyes and said something I was terrified to say: “I think I’m ready to start dating again.” It felt like a confession. It was the end of the summer of 2018, and I’d had a very brief encounter with a man (you can read about that here) which left me feeling changed. For the first time since Shawn died, I desired men. I wanted to be around them, and I knew I didn’t want to remain celibate anymore. Shawn had only been gone for about 7 months at that point. I hadn’t…

  • Steaming coffee as described in post by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: How Do I Meet Other Young Widows?

    About once a week, I get a message that goes something like this: My husband died six months ago, and now I’m a 35-year-old widow. I’ve gotten to the point where the grief is somewhat manageable, but my problem now is that I feel so isolated. My friends want to help, but they just can’t understand what it’s like to be me. I’ve tried going to spousal loss groups, but everyone is twice my age. How can I find a group of young widows in my area? For a long time, my replies to these emails were always the same: “I have no real answers for you. I found people…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley laughs with friends
    New Perspectives

    How to Host a Crappy Zoom Call

    I hate Zoom. I mean, I also love it, of course. For many months I spent all day on Zoom talking to students and I can now use it with some ease to facilitate discussions and give lectures. That part is great. What I hate about it is that it’s pretty much the only way to connect with my friends right now. Sure, I could use FaceTime or Houseparty or whatever, but it’s all the same. It’s me looking at my friends via a screen. It just feels so….contrived. There I am, alone in my kitchen staring at my phone with one or more of my friend’s faces staring back…

  • Empty classroom like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck


    I get that I’m supposed to remain calm. It’s what I said at the start of each of my classes on Thursday. “There is no need to panic,” I said, looking directly at my students. “We are going to get through this. We just need to plan.” That afternoon, my school announced that we would be shutting down next week. Spring break would follow, and we hoped to resume classes in early April. I breathed a sigh of relief. My kids’ school would soon follow with a similar announcement, and we could all just stay at home. “Remember, 99% of young people with COVID-19 recover in a few weeks,” my…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley laughing in black and white
    New Perspectives

    You Are Alone. Accept That. Carry On. (Part 2)

    December has been hard, in a lot of ways. It’s the month when I re-live every painful moment in the hospital with Shawn, it’s the month when I’m supposed to be happy but sometimes just can’t be, and it’s the month when I remember that yes, it all really happened. This life I’m living is really true, not just some terrible nightmare. I was running the other day with my friend Purva, because we are not deterred by freezing temperatures and darkness, and she asked me how I was feeling about my life. I’d just finished telling her about a guy I liked who had recently told me he didn’t…