• Beach where DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley danced
    New Perspectives

    Year of Yes Revisited

    2019 was the “Year of Yes“. Or at least that’s what I wanted it to be. 2018 had been the year of cancer and death and survival. It was terrible, and all I wanted to do was fast-forward through the year. When 2019 arrived, I thought, “okay, it’s time to actually live this life I’ve been given.” And the way I was going to do that was to try everything. Could I run further than the three miles I usually ran? Maybe just an extra mile, or maybe three or four more? I could. Could I let go a little, take a risk and try out a new man? And…

  • 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…

  • DC widow blogger Marjorie Brimley splashes in water with her three children

    ….Hello 2019 (Part 2 of 2)

    Hello 2019. Hello security – in my finances, in my parenting, in my choices. Hello running fast and slow, up hills and down, with tears and without. Hello writing, this time without striving for so much perfection. Hello nights that end after midnight. Hello banker, financial advisor, lawyer.  I can navigate you and your paperwork now, and I’m going to be proud of that. Hello rocking my baby after his bath. Hello daydreams. Hello therapy over wine with girlfriends after school. Hello God.  Whoever or whatever or wherever you are. Hello acceptance of other people and their reactions to my loss. Hello eight hours of sleep. Hello empowerment.  Let my…

  • Marjorie Brimley and her daughter running through a fountain in DC after Shawn's death
    New Perspectives


    Last week, I was hanging out at school with one of the art teachers. He was asking about my summer, and I told him that I really hadn’t had much fun. “I just want to have FUN again, you know?” He nodded along in agreement, although I think it was fairly impossible for him to imagine what life has been like for me lately. It hasn’t been fun. It seems like everything I’ve done lately has been for my children, and that all of my free time has been taken up with the annoyances of running a home by myself – finances, yard work, permission slips and the like. So…

  • Brimley kids watching fireworks after death of Shawn

    I Want to Die Right Now Because at Least Then I Wouldn’t Have to Carry Anyone Home After They Throw Up from Eating Too Much Ice Cream

    The title of this blog post is from an actual text I sent some of my girlfriends this summer. If there’s something that sums up my summer, it’s probably that text. By August, I was so exhausted that the idea that I had to do one more thing for my kids was just too much. So, as I sat watching Tommy eat an ice cream cone that was bigger than his head, I thought, “dear God, please don’t let him throw up. If he does, I’m going to have a mental breakdown.” And hence, this text. My friends all laughed and offered encouragement, because that’s what friends do. They knew…

  • Shawn Brimley with giant pumpkin near Halloween before he got cancer
    Missing Shawn

    Weekend Shawn

    One of Shawn’s favorite things to do was to have dinner on a Sunday night with other families.  He loved the weekends, and he wanted to make them last.  This usually meant we’d find our house full of kids and our fridge full of beer as the weekend rolled to a close on Sunday evenings. When Shawn got sick, we did this a lot less, and once he was in the hospital, we obviously didn’t do it at all.  After he died, I couldn’t even conceive of how I would manage to have friends over or do anything fun again.  One day, about two months after Shawn died, Claire looked…