• Marjorie Brimley getting interviewed during the Women's March in DC
    New Perspectives

    Smash the Patriarchy

    I was listening to music the other day, and the song “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks came on. I haven’t heard it for over a decade, but it still evokes emotions from the time period when I was first away from home. I was in college, surrounded by a million friends, and yet I was newly motherless and had the unsettled feeling that the future was unknowable. In many ways, I felt like I do today. Of course, the circumstances are totally different now, but many days I feel lost in a similar way that I did almost 20 years ago. When I heard the song again,…

  • Shawn Brimley's widow Marjorie accepts plaque with her children at DC think tank
    New Perspectives

    Shawn’s Wife

    Last week, I went downtown and spoke at an event in Shawn’s honor. It was a beautiful and deeply important night, and I was so glad that my entire family could be there. Over a hundred other people showed up as well. Those in attendance talked to me about Shawn’s life, our children and how much he had meant to each of them. It was perfect, but it was also difficult. It was difficult because I was reminded yet again that he’s no longer in this world. But when I reflected on it a few days later, I realized it was difficult for another reason as well: I am no…

  • Two people holding hands to symbolize DC Widow Marjorie's experience watching Sorry For Your Loss
    Things That Suck

    Sorry For Your Loss: A Review

    A few weeks ago, a new show debuted on Facebook. I had no idea Facebook made tv shows, but apparently they do. In any case, this new show is called “Sorry For Your Loss” and is about a young widow. It is brilliant. That is not an understatement. I’ve watched the first eight episodes and I am convinced that the writers for this show are all young widows. It’s that spot-on. The show is about a woman, Leigh (played by Elizabeth Olsen), who is probably in her early 30s. As the show begins, the viewer finds out that her husband died three months prior. In the first episode, she sits…

  • Shawn and Marjorie Brimley kissing before Shawn died and Marjorie became a widow
    Things That Suck

    A Brutal Few Weeks

    I’m not sure how to say this any other way, but it’s been a brutal few weeks for me. Of course, healing from tragic loss is not linear. Every therapist loves to tell me that, and I believe it. Some days are terrible, some days are not, and there’s no specific progression. In January, and for about six months afterwards, I felt really sad about my life. I felt like I might never be happy again, because how could I be? But then, I started to see some hope. I had days when I felt good for much of the time, and I began to envision the future. I couldn’t…

  • DC widow Marjorie Brimley at her husband's gravesite
    Missing Shawn

    Falling Trees

    It was the first day of Sunday school yesterday, and my children happily went to their classrooms which meant I had 45 uninterrupted minutes to drink coffee and talk to other adults. I hadn’t been to church in a while and so the time passed quickly as I caught up with all my friends. Soon it was almost time to go get the kids. All of the sudden I heard a loud noise and the power went out. “I’m going to get my kids right now,” I said to my friend Kristin. “I’ll go get the big kids and you get the little kids,” she said. I went downstairs, but…

  • 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…