• Image of concert lights similar to that at concert by Zoe Keating attended by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    Zoe Keating’s Concert

    Twitter can lead to some interesting friendships. But maybe the most unique one I have is with the cellist Zoe Keating. I mean, we’re not exactly friends – I’m more like her fan-girl – but sometimes we tweet articles and thoughts to each other. So when she came to DC, I had to see her. I mean, I don’t know anything about cellos or really any stringed instrument, but I listened to her music and it was beautiful. Plus, I wanted to meet someone doing something with her art after a terrible loss. You see, Zoe and I are Twitter friends because we both are part of the worst club…

  • DC Widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's desk with note that says you are loved
    What Not to Say

    What (Not) to Say in Crisis

    Right after Shawn died, lots of people tried to say things to me that were supposed to be comforting.  Most of these sayings reminded me of Hallmark cards, even if they were heartfelt (i.e. “I’m thinking of you in this difficult time.”)  Other times, people stumbled over their words, trying to find the right thing to say.  Sometimes, people said nothing at all. (As a note, I think saying nothing at all is the worst.  Better to mess up and say something annoying/imperfect than to ignore a terrible situation.  Even if it’s been a year or two and you still haven’t said anything to someone who’s grieving, you can do…

  • Beach visited by DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley for New Years
    New Perspectives

    Year of Yes

    “You have to come,” Paige said to me, “this aerobics class is a unique Cayman experience.  I can’t let you miss it.” I reiterated that I didn’t like workout classes.  “I already have enough people demanding things of me,” I always say when people encourage me to sign up for something like Orange Theory or Soul Cycle.  “Well this is more like a fast pass to Carnival,” she said, “and it’s time to go.” I went to the reggae aerobics class.  I was her guest for the week, and this was something she really wanted me to do.  The class was packed and had just started when we arrived.  The…

  • Shawn Brimley, husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie, walks across a field with son Tommy
    Things That Suck

    “I Think He’s Dying”

    It was New Year’s Day, 2018. I was with a couple of friends and their husbands. Our kids ran all over the house, happy to be with each other. Shawn was at home, finally, but we had decided that he’d spend the afternoon sleeping and I’d take the kids out of the house. It was freezing, and they were stir-crazy. I didn’t want to leave him, but there was still some part of me that thought we had a really long road ahead of us. If that was the case, we needed to make sure to keep the kids’ routine steady, and that meant getting them out of the house…

  • Holidays


    Three years ago, we spent Thanksgiving break with our friends Becky and Josh in an old farmhouse in Delaware owned by Josh’s family. All of our kids were really little and so we spent a lot of time dealing with their needs, but we also drank wine and sat around the dinner table each night for many hours. One night, we spent much of the evening talking about Josh’s brother, Chris, and the teenage antics he pulled during his gap year between high school and college. Josh’s mom told a particularly funny story about Chris and we all laughed and laughed. I remember thinking later how amazing it was that…