• DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley poses with friends and their husbands at a party
    Family & Friends

    The Little Things

    Right after Shawn died, I was talking to a girlfriend of mine about how I missed going out to dinner.  “We can go out anytime,” she said.  “If it’s easier, we can just go out with all of the women.” She was trying to be compassionate.  She understood that it could be hard for me to go out with a group of couples, especially so recently after Shawn died. But I didn’t want that, and I told her so.  The men in our group – they are my friends too. I appreciated that she was trying to be mindful of my feelings.  But what I appreciated even more was that…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley looks at a card at a party with her husband Shawn
    Missing Shawn

    Backsliding Into Grief

    “Shawn used to order the craziest pizza toppings,” someone said with a smile. “He loved the ‘meat classic’ and anything else that had meat on top of meat,” I said, and everyone laughed. I was smiling remembering his ridiculous pizza orders for our group of friends. And then I was crying. Sobbing, really. “I miss him so much,” I kept saying as I continued to cry for what felt like a really long time. Everyone was comforting. I was beside myself. I don’t know how to fully put this down on paper, but at that moment I felt just as sad as I had in the weeks immediately after Shawn…

  • Join or Die banner in DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's house
    Things That Suck


    I could tell about halfway through my run this morning that I was going to have to quit early. It happens sometimes. I think I’m okay, and then running puts me into this zen-like place where I start pondering the big questions in my life. And then the tears come. Sometimes I can run through them. Sometimes I can slow down, and lean against the side of the treadmill and breathe and then start again. But this time I had to stop. I saw the fat tears drop on my shoes and I gave into my sadness. The tears were not about Shawn. Well, they weren’t exclusively about Shawn. I…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley at cemetery where her husband is buried
    Things That Suck

    Good Riddance 2018…. (Part 1 of 2)

    Good riddance 2018. Good riddance latex gloves, alcohol swabs, shower chairs, needles. Good riddance nightmares. Good riddance shower floor, where I often sat when I was too exhausted to do anything else but let the water pour down my back. Good riddance probate. Good riddance Zofran, 5FU, morphine and Ativan. Good riddance estate tax return with your stupid requirements to produce a statement of every account we had the day Shawn died. Good riddance exhaustion and subsequent unplanned naps in living room chairs. Good riddance crying in public.  Not forever, but just during those times when I’d like to hold it together. Good riddance documents I had to sign saying…

  • Marjorie Brimley DC widow stands in field in the fall
    New Perspectives


    “You are so strong.” The woman – the one who I barely know – looks at me with sorrow in her eyes. “You are amazing,” she says. “I think just about anyone else who had to face such loss would not do nearly as well as you have.” I thank her, and we part. I know she meant well, so I don’t think much of it. Also, I hear something like this at least a few times a week, so I’m used to it. I know everyone wants to be encouraging and maybe the people who tell me I am strong are actually impressed with my ability to keep it…